The Season of Joy
“So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.”—Matthew 28:8
In Matthew’s telling of the resurrection story, the two Marys leave the tomb with fear and joy. As we celebrate Easter the presence of fear might struck us as odd. Why were they frightened? Perhaps the wonder of the angel’s presence and the strange new reality of the empty tomb were an occasion for fear.
While their fear might strike us as odd, it is their great joy that really puts them out of step with the world. Our world and culture know happiness, perhaps, or know the absence of discomfort, but they are not well acquainted with the presence of joy. Great joy is a rare experience in our culture and world. Rejoicing and celebration do not come readily or easily to us.
Eastertide is the church’s season of joy. For these seven weeks until Pentecost, on June 4 this year, the church is invited, even called into, the practice and discipline of rejoicing and celebration. Just as the seasons of Lent and Advent can be seasons of intentionally practicing self-denial and charity, the season of Easter can be an occasion of flexing our celebratory muscles. During these weeks gathering with friends, enjoying good food and music, and practicing actions of kindness and justice can all be occasions to celebrate God’s new creation, initiated in Jesus’ resurrection.
Corporately, we’ll be doing a few things as a church to celebrate this season, beginning with five baptisms this Sunday. For other upcoming celebrations, you can check out the details below.
One of the things I’m celebrating this week is that renovations are pretty much finished at the Parish House — and it is already being used by our community and even beyond. If you’re interested in using the space, please don’t hesitate to contact Paul. Also, look below for details regarding a gathering this weekend involving engagement with our Muslim neighbors.