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Eastertide: Celebrating 50 days of JOY

Eastertide: Celebrating 50 days of JOY

Eastertide: Celebrating 50 days of Joy

By Kim Stewart, Director of Formational Ministries

A few years ago, a friend introduced me to a season in the liturgical church calendar that I wasn’t familiar with—Eastertide. Eastertide are the days between Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday. I was curious!

Over the course of this season, I watched my friend celebrate what she was calling 50 days of joy. Each day she posted a picture of something in her day that brought her joy and ways that she was celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and her life in Christ. I was moved by the practice and the invitation it gave me to linger intentionally beyond Easter Sunday in the hope of resurrection.

There is a contrast in the season of Lent and Eastertide, but both invite us to enter more deeply into life with Christ. During Lent we might practice fasting, repentance, and prayer as we journey with Christ to the cross and reflect on his redemptive work. Those days can feel long, exhausting, and heavy as we witness Jesus suffer and be crucified.

But then! Suddenly the story changes. Imagine the women who arrived to care for their teacher and master but found the tomb empty. Shock. Joy. Confusion. Imagine yourself there. From grief and sorrow to joy! In a few readings about this season, some have called it a time to feast. To celebrate. We move from fasting to feasting. Our Savior is alive!

We invite you to join us in practicing JOY for Eastertide. We will begin Easter Sunday, March 31 and go through Pentecost Sunday, May 5.

Below is a list with practices and ideas that we hope will help you enter intentionally into celebrating Easter. Over these days, linger in the stories of Christ’s resurrection and those moments when he appeared post-resurrection in the gospels. Gather friends and family to practice rest, rejoicing, and giving thanks. Be generous and feast together.

Our Savior was dead but now he lives!

Themes:

  • Abide, rest, dwell, remain, be present: Meditate on John 15:1-17. Read verses daily and reflect on Jesus’ invitation to you.
  • Rejoice in what is GOOD: Read Philippians 4:8.
  • Cultivate gratitude: Each day write three things you are grateful for.
  • Pray for others: Pray specifically for those who haven’t experienced the love and hope of Jesus.
  • Encourage and affirm others: Intentionally affirm and encourage someone.
  • Ask for joy: Ask God to help you experience and know joy in Christ and the gift of joy with others.
  • Rest: Spend time weekly resting.
  • Serve: Be generous: Volunteer with ForColumbia on April 27.

Practices:

  • Take a photo each day of a moment or experience that brought you joy.
  • Prepare a meal for someone.
  • Invite someone over for a meal.
  • Be generous in giving to someone(s).
  • Visit a hiking trail in our community. Invite friends or go alone.
  • Go out for ice cream.
  • Visit a museum (local or out of town).
  • Come to a CF Gallery reception.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Paint with friends (grab some watercolors and just experiment).
  • Attend a local community event.
  • Write a letter to someone you’re grateful for.
  • Watch a movie and gather friends—popcorn and lots of treats.
  • Host a dance party!
  • Host a party for a small group of friends just because.
  • Take a nap.
  • Tip generously.
  • Take a class you’ve always wanted to take (art, dance, etc.).
  • Star gaze.
  • Visit Shelter Gardens and notice all the spring blooms—new life!
  • Have a picnic.
  • Read a book.
  • Play games with friends.
  • Go to a local concert/community theater.

Meditations:

Read the resurrection story in each of the four gospels and linger in the stories (Matthew 28:1-8 Mark 16:1-8 Luke 24:1-12 John 20:1-14.

Meditate upon the places that Jesus appears post-resurrection.

  • Mark 16:9: Jesus first appears to Mary Magdalene outside the garden tomb.
  • John 20:11-18: Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene near the sepulcher at Jerusalem.
  • Matthew 28:9-10: Jesus appears to the women returning from the sepulcher.
  • Luke 24:34: Jesus appears to Peter (Cephas) near Jerusalem.
  • Luke 24:13-32: Jesus appears to two men on the road to Emmaus.
  • Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25: Jesus appears to the apostles, except for Thomas.
  • John 20:26-29: Jesus appears to the apostles with Thomas.
  • John 21:1-25: Jesus appears to seven of his disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:6: Jesus appears to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive.
  • Acts 1:3: Jesus appears to them during forty days and speaks about the kingdom of God.
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