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Easter is my favorite holiday. More than Christmas. More than Thanksgiving. I love Easter. I know what you are thinking. Of course, Easter is your favorite. You are a Christian. A theologian of sorts. Big surprise.  But, Dude, wasn’t that like weeks ago?

We did the Sunrise service. We watched whatever Life of Jesus our theological sensitivities could stomach. We stormed the restaurant, decimated the buffet, and tipped the wait staff. What’s left to do?

Easter is a season, not a holiday. Seven Sundays. We are currently on the third as I write this. Is there such a thing as Christian splaining? If so, I’m doing it. If you are from a liturgical tradition, you know all this. I grew up without a liturgy. No draped crosses with colored cloth. No creeds. No incense.

I gotta say, I’m starting to see the appeal of a liturgical calendar, though. I’m not ready to start burning incense, but I like the idea of celebrating the power of the resurrection for over a month until Pentecost. There’s something inviting about wedging my puny life between the twin poles of Christmas, Easter, and something called Ordinary Time. The seasons of feasting, fasting, and prayer. I’m reminded, again, no surprise, of The Screwtape Letters. The Demonic Undersecretary explains God’s use of the cycles of change and sameness.

“He has balanced the love of change in them by a love of permanence. He has contrived to gratify both tastes together on the very world He has made by that union of change and permanence which we call Rhythm. He gives them the seasons, each season different yet every year the same, so that spring is always felt as a novelty yet always as the recurrence of an immemorial theme. He gives them in His Church a spiritual year; they change from a fast to a feast, but it is the same feast as before.”

“It is the same feast as before.” Easter comes every year. We read the same scriptures. We attend the same services. How do we keep it strong and not dead dogma? By embracing Easter as a season, not just a holiday. At the risk of more Christiansplaining. Seven Sundays. And seven (or eight depending on how you count it) appearances of Jesus after the resurrection. Seven moments of Easter for all of us to share.

Here’s a place to start: Russell Moore of Christianity Today asked a question that has really gotten under my skin as I continue to celebrate Eastertide. Why didn’t Jesus take a victory lap after he rose from the dead? Why does he appear first to a group of women instead of paying a visit to the High Priest just to say, “How do you like me now? Or “Boy, were you wrong.” Why is a walk and a meal with Cleopas and his wife more important than strolling into Pilate’s chambers in a blaze of light? It’s what I would have done with all that power. Tell me you wouldn’t have been tempted.

That’s what my bible study is telling me as I contemplate the resurrection each Sunday. Jesus’ just, compassionate, and utterly alien concepts of power and how to carry on a revolution.

What were the things he chose to take care of before he took His place at the right hand of the Father? Thomas’ doubt. Peter’s guilt. Mary’s grief. Paul’s rage. James’ unbelief. That’s what mattered more than displaying his power or doling out well-deserved condemnation. Something to think about.

Happy Easter SeasonΩ

Jonathan Miles is husband to Stacie, dad to Wesley, Gloria, and Caroline, professor of philosophy and ethics to his students, and teaching elder/pastor to the wonderful folks at Faith Journey Church. He lives in Quincy, Illinois

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