May first. In Northern BC, May is the month when we celebrate Mothers’ Day, Spring, the start of gardening, and the start of camping. We celebrate the end of winter, melted snow, gray skies, and the in-between season mud.
April is over and done. This year Easter fell in April. In Orthodox churches, after Easter would be the start of “Ordinary Time” which is the name given to days between major festivals. I was not raised in an Orthodox church, so I may not be completely correct in explaining this, but let me try. Ordinary Time days indicate the time between Easter and Christmas Advent, and again between Christmas and Lent, the beginning of the Easter season. There are celebrations during Ordinary Time as well, but they are not the “big deal” of the Christian calendar like Easter and Christmas.
So as we move ahead into outdoor activities in the sun, let’s take a day to reflect on the change between Easter and Ordinary Time. We have just spent time reflecting on the life and ministry of Jesus, which ended in his crucifixion as the perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins. We celebrate and praise God for the resurrection of Jesus, forever defeating death so we may live for eternity in the presence of God.
But what difference did celebrating Easter make in our lives for the coming Ordinary Time? Do we spend Lent sacrificing something to draw closer to God? Do we remember the Passover meal in the Upper Room, where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples and knows he will be betrayed by Judas, is a Jewish custom to celebrate the blood protection while the Angel of Death claimed the first-born of families that sent the Israelite nation away from Egypt to start the journey to the Promised Land? Do we feel relief that the crucifixion, as gruesome as it is to think about on “Good Friday,” is not the end? Do we state “He is Risen!” with joy when we celebrate the empty tomb?
And then what? Easter season ends and we begin “Ordinary Time.” If we just leave the Easter season like that, what difference does it make in our lives?
Let’s take the Easter celebration into the next season. In May, let’s continue to look at the Scripture passages of the crucifixion and resurrection so we take the gift of our Saviour deeper into our everyday lives.
We could read the various accounts provided in the Gospels. Each book provides a different viewpoint on those days. The authors were writing to different audiences for different purposes. Their descriptions are just that – their point of view from where they were during those days. What they experienced, or what they were told happened from others who were there.
Another way we can look deeper at Easter is to read the April posts on the Inscribe Writers Online blog. If you have already read them, read them again throughout May.
Usually, I let you know that I have posted my piece there, but the posts throughout April by all the writers were so powerful, I don’t think you’d want to miss any of them. Yes, mine is in there, on April 26th, titled “The Point in the Story” so you can go straight there if you want.
The prompt for April was to write a piece of the Crucifixion/Resurrection story from the point of view of one of the witnesses who were there. Each post looks through the eyes of a different person. Of course, we create some of the emotions or scenes described, because the Bible doesn’t give us all the little details that we imagine. Creative non-fiction is the term used for this kind of writing. Creative fiction is written from the foundation of non-fiction facts.
Let’s take the celebration of salvation from Easter into the rest of the year. Meditate on how perfectly timed the arrival of Emmanuel was during the Roman time. Look at each detail Scripture provides and marvel again at how prophecy from Old Testament passages were fulfilled so exactly. Learn about the culture of that time, which makes some of those details even more fascinating.
What difference does it make? You tell me.