Most folks think Easter is over. Yet, for a lot of Christians worldwide, it’s just beginning. The season of Eastertide starts on Easter Sunday and goes through the Saturday before Pentecost, a fifty-day period.
One of the oldest seasons in Christian celebration, Eastertide is part of many liturgical calendars, and it comes at a wonderful time of year. In many places, spring gets underway. Trees bud, flowers bloom. Everywhere there are signs of life, renewal—resurrection. Even the weather gets better.
While my wife and I don’t belong to a denomination that celebrates Eastertide, we have some friends who do, like Tom and Judy, who are Anglican transplants from Minnesota.
We invited them for an evening meal on Easter Sunday. When they arrived, I walked to the back porch and opened the door.
“He is risen!” Judy called as she came up the steps.
“Sho ’nuff,” I replied.
“No, no,” she said. “You’re supposed to say ‘He is risen, indeed!’”
“That’s what I said. I just said it like a southerner.”
She chuckled, hugged my neck, and walked into the house. I waited on Tom. He struggled up the steps with a bad knee. He’s already had one replaced, but his doctor has advised against another.
“Getting old ain’t for sissies,” he muttered.
“Selah.” We shook hands, and I gave him a manly clap to the shoulder.
While we lumbered across the back porch, I thought about Tom’s dilemma. As we age, losing mobility can be debilitating, both physically and mentally.
There are choices that can improve the aging process—better diet, exercise, and just being cheerful. But there’s nothing to stop the second law of thermodynamics. In this life, entropy is inescapable. We’re all headed to that same portal, the one labeled “Leaving this world.”
But if we’re in Christ, we can go with a smile. He has gone before us and taken the sting out of that transit. He is risen! We can pass with joy—a joy much greater than the one Tom and I felt when we entered the house and smelled all the good food.
Shortly after our entry, we formed a circle with our wives, held hands, and gave thanks for the meal and all we enjoy through a common bond of fellowship in the Lord Jesus Christ.
My wife, Laurie, sets a great table. The short buffet she prepared featured Mahimahi, a wild rice and vegetable pilaf, mashed sweet potatoes mixed with pineapple, cinnamon, and basil. At each person’s place was a small mixed-greens salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette. For desert we had a berry medley topped with homemade banana slush. (Sorry you missed it.)
We enjoy Tom and Judy’s company. Both are writers and equal to each other in intelligence and wit. Tom is also an accomplished artist. We spent the evening—which went by in a flash—discussing books we were reading or things we were writing.
By the time we finished our meal, the only lights were the lamps and candles and the ones in our hearts. Throughout the entire evening, not a word was said about entropy, aging, or the end of life. Those issues were settled long ago through an empty tomb.
We walked across the back porch again. I asked Tom about the possibility of some golf when things warmed up.
He winced and patted his bad leg. “Probably not.”
I hated the thought of that. Even worse, I hated the thought of him being in a wheelchair one day. They walked beyond the porch light. I could hear them opening their doors. Then I saw Judy’s silhouette against the car’s dome light. She waved and slipped into her seat.
“He is risen,” she called in her buoyant voice, and then closed her door.
Those words hung in the dark like a glorious light. I waved back, wanting that thought to linger.
“Sho ’nuff,” I whispered. “Sho ’nuff.”