After the long vigil that is Holy Week, following the 40 days of Lent it is often tempting after the joyful celebration of Easter Day to give a great sigh and call it “done.” However, the Easter Vigil and Easter Day are not single events or the end. Easter is the beginning of our celebration of our new life in Christ. The season of Eastertide is in fact 50 days long, 10 days longer than Lent and I often wonder what would happen if we put as much energy into celebrating Eastertide as we do in journeying with special observance through the season of Lent.
So, I am proposing the 50 Day Challenge.
It is a simple challenge really! What would happen if each day of Easter we vowed to do one thing that showed that we are living as resurrected people, as God’s reconciled creation. Here are some suggestions that come to mind: committing ourselves to the stewardship of God’s creation or eco-justice by marching with scientists on Washington, by adopting a waterway with our Facebook friends and keeping it clean, patronizing Farmers' Markets locally, supporting environmental causes, planting gardens, or even container gardens; knowing that we can’t “take it with us” by creating wills, engaging in estate planning and in addition to leaving our worldly goods to support our families, leaving support for Emmanuel and other charities we care about when we join the saints in light; showing how much our community of faith means to us and inviting a friend to church, or serving as a mentor or guide to one of the 40 people who has attended Emmanuel as a newcomer since April 25th of last year; taking up a new ministry like exploring a new way for us to do “hands on” outreach.
There is no shortage of suggestions. The only limit is our imagination. Jesus was raised for new life not simply to show God’s forgiving and reconciling love to his friends, but to all the world then and now. Our mission as a resurrected people is to do the same.