Thoughts for the Easter Season

Today’s devotion comes to us via


On April 17 we observed Easter Sunday, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.  However, for many Orthodox Christians in Europe, Africa, and Middle East, Easter was yesterday. The Orthodox Church calculates the date of Easter according to the Julian Calendar — as opposed to the Gregorian Calendar, which we follow.

Easter is one of the few “moveable feasts” in the Christian calendar, floating to a different Sunday each year. Why? Jesus was said to have risen on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring — for Christians, a sign that the event’s significance is cosmic in scope, its anniversary depending more on the season and the moon than the numerical date on the calendar.

What’s the meaning of Easter today?

For those who despair that death-dealing powers have the upper hand — fear not. Easter means God ultimately is and will be victorious over the powers of death.

For those who feel isolated and lonely — fear not. Easter means we are all together in the risen Body of Christ, even if we’re physically unable to gather.

For those who despair that our guilt is too great for God to forgive — fear not. Easter means God has cleared all accounts, liberating humanity from shame, reconciling us to God and each other as God’s children.

For those who despair in the midst of pain and anguish — take heart. You are not alone: Jesus suffers with you in solidarity and companionship, and Easter means you will rise with him.

For those who despair over a world filled with hate, violence, and scapegoating — be encouraged. In Christ’s passion, God has taken the place of the scapegoat in order to expose humanity’s violent ways — and Easter means God one day will overcome violence.

Indeed, Easter means that God has taken one of the worst things in the world (the Roman cross) and remade it into one of the best (the Tree of Life), a sword into a ploughshare — and if the worst, then also the whole creation in the end! Like the cross, the empty tomb is a great divine mystery, a rising sun dispelling shadows in multiple directions.

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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