I have been considering the celebration of the 50 days of Easter, and upon further reflection, I’ve thought to myself, “Hasn’t Easter already happened? What is the next big holiday for me to look forward to?” It is easy for me to be focused on the future, to the point that it takes me away from the present. And that is why I love Holy Week and Eastertide; it is an invitation to past, present, and future.
Think back to Good Friday/Holy Saturday/Easter Sunday. It’s a time to grieve Jesus’ death on the cross, anticipate his resurrection, and experience his return. This is a PAST/PRESENT/FUTURE type of experience. And now it is Eastertide, where we allow the truth of the resurrection to usher us into the complexities of celebration and remembrance, joy and grief.
Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34), but it’s easy to anticipate pain, suffering, and anxiety. So instead of worrying, we are invited into hoping. Instead of dwelling on the past, we are invited into grief and celebration.
Living in community is often as complex as it gets. I am a broken person, and I know that I have let others down. But what Eastertide indicates, it is reasonable to hope for better things. It is reasonable to hope that our broken relationships can be redeemed. It is reasonable to have Jesus heal us in ways that are difficult to imagine.
So as Eastertide continues, and as we struggle to live life together, I am dedicating myself to asking God to do something big, to let the truth and redemption of the resurrection pour into all of our relationships. I will continue to disappoint others, but I have seen God redeem in the past and I can hope that God will redeem in the future. And the realization of the past combined with the hope of the future will allow me to be right here: THE PRESENT.