According to St. Bede the Venerable, the word “Easter” comes from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of fertility and spring. As it aligns with Passover, Easter is celebrated in the spring, just as the world is waking up and returning to life.
Spring Always Comes Back
We see the resurrection all around us annually. As spring wakes up the world, we see nature essentially coming back from the dead. It does this every year. Even when it seems like winter will go on forever, it never fails to resurrect. New life always comes.
Think of Easter as the New Year
Every year when Easter approaches, I am awed by this season and the idea that the son of man, our own Jesus Christ, took our sins upon himself. Every year, without fail, I acknowledge the great gift that this confers on us as Christians.
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Most of the Western world views the start of the new calendar year, January 1st, as a chance to hit the reset button. We make New Year’s resolutions, write aspirations on index cards, and purchase gym memberships, but every year, many of us fall back into our old habits by February.
However, as Christians, it’s the death and resurrection of Christ that should be our call to action. Jesus conquering death is a wake-up call in this fallen world. Easter is our annual reminder that Christ died so that we could have new life in its fullness.
Darkness Doesn’t Last Forever
The past year has been difficult. The world as we know it was torn apart by a pandemic that we did not see coming. But when dark, cold days come, as they always do, we are called as Christians to rise to our feet in our faith – and drop to our knees in prayer. We are called to rely on the power of Christ to heal and make things new.
This knowledge should sensitize our spirit to the call of God. Every Easter, let us celebrate in awe of the risen Christ. Even more than that, we are called to be renewed ourselves. To be renewed in our thinking and in our living, our faith, and our actions. Let us not go through the motions of Easter every year without being aware that the end of the darkness is near and a new day is about to dawn.
Some of us may not get to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ with vigils and gatherings this year, but we can still wake up our souls. Let us all take a moment this Easter to ask the Lord to renew our souls. Let us ask Him to create in us a desire for a holy life. Let this season be one filled with quietness and meditation. Let us decide, all over again, to be His.
This Easter season, try doing the following:
1. Read or watch the resurrection story.
In the movie The Passion of the Christ, there is a scene where Jesus meets his mother on the road to Calvary. Exhausted and bloody, He has fallen, and she runs to help Him. Even in his darkest hour, He is able to look at her and say, “See, mother? I make all things new.”
Take time out of your day to watch a movie about Jesus’s death and resurrection, or read the story in the Bible. Take note of each character in the story and the events after the resurrection. How does each person react? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand and learn from the Easter story. What do your own actions show?
2. Ask for new habits.
As the Lord Jesus was raised from the dead, ask Him by His power to take away old habits and patterns in your life that are holding you back from living for Him.
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3. Meditate and pray.
There is no greater way to hear from God than at his feet. Use this time of isolation and social distancing to get closer to God.
4. Talk about the resurrection.
Share the story of the death and resurrection with others. Remind people that Jesus delights in making things new. He is the ultimate light in the darkness. He is so eager to come into our lives and make the dead areas new, to prune away our hopelessness and give us a hope that lives.