I was thinking of that line from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, “always winter, never Christmas.” This Lent with the help of a pandemic felt like “always Lent, never Easter” which of course is not true, but it felt that way. For some reason Easter was the marker in my mind of all things being set right again. The original projections in the school world were stay home until after Spring Break and then all would be well, only it is not. We had no idea how fast things would change, and how many things would be paired down to essentials only.
Easter did come, for that I am incredibly thankful. Yesterday I was reminded that the grave is empty. Christ has overcome death. The sting is removed. But today is Monday, I find myself with the disciples in the now what? Later we find the disciples fishing again. They had experienced the death and now the resurrection of Jesus. He had breathed new life on them and given them a new purpose, but they were still in the not quite yet season. The full manifestation of the Holy Spirit had not come, so the disciples went back to what they knew, fishing for most.
On this Eastertide Monday that finds me still in Covid-19 world, I wonder what it looks like for me. What is to change, what are the must dos, what are the not yets? I am relieved to be out of Lent. I am thankful for Resurrection Sunday even though it was the first Sunday that I can remember of not attending church. Now it is Monday. Last year I joined another blogger in Eastertide, the fifty days after Easter to the day of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Like Lent it is a set period to practice a discipline, unlike Lent it is the discipline of feasting. It is a season of rejoicing. Last year I felt drawn to practicing resurrection as the blogger Tamara Hill Murphy challenged. I was excited to see what God would teach me in this new to me discipline. It was a beautiful time of reframing my view.
I have been pondering what this practice or discipline would look like this year. Last year it was about documenting the days and looking for joys and gifts https://inkblotlife.com/category/practicing-resurrection-2019/. It was invigorating and the thought of the discipline of feasting brought me joy. This year the stumbling block seems to be the number fifty. It feels huge and the dailyness of it feels impossible. Even as I write this I realize that is my problem. I am making up rules and making it huge. I am thinking this year needs to be like last year. But just like Easter, this season cannot look like last year. Life is different, as it always is. The real gifts are still found in the abiding and walking with Christ and allowing Him to define it instead of me trying to make it look like what it has been.
So I enter into this season of Eastertide, fifty days of practicing resurrection remembering it takes practice living this new life. It takes practice listening to the Spirit as it whispers to me the joys and gifts to be found in this day. So I choose defiant joy. I choose the discipline of feasting, but this year it will look different. This year I will hold it intentionally, but loosely. I will allow it to be more organic and take on a life of its own in this season of the Church. I will choose to be thankful for it as it is not as I wish it to be.