What is Eastertide? Great question, there’s a few answers.
Eastertide is a season, a season of joy! Traditionally, the Easter season (Eastertide) is a 50 day period that stretches from Easter Sunday to Pentecost, serving as a time of sustained attention to the reality and joy of resurrection.
Eastertide is a celebration. The season of Eastertide echoes the great celebration of Easter Sunday itself. The message of resurrection has become so familiar that in many ways it has lost its power to amaze and inspire us. The reality of Easter - Christ risen, death defeated, sins forgiven, evil overcome, no consequences - is cause to celebrate!
Eastertide is an opportunity. The season of Eastertide allows us the time we need to absorb the reality that Christ is risen. (1) Time, life and everything else can fly by. The speed and the pace at which we move is often so quick that it’s possible to ‘be somewhere, but not really be there’. Have you ever had a conversation with someone while your mind was a thousand miles away? That’s what we mean. Eastertide is an opportunity for us, as individuals and as a church, to be fully present in the reality that Jesus has indeed risen from the tomb.
So how do we celebrate Eastertide?
First, we read together. During this season we will read through the gospel of Mark. The gospels, especially Mark, record the astonishment of the original hearers of the good news that Jesus was raised from the dead. Our readings through Mark are adapted from a daily devotional by the author N.T. Wright, with some additional Psalms and gospel sections added in. Because we want to make this reading plan easily accessible to all, in addition to this handout the daily readings will be posted via our social media outlets, as well as downloadable from our website (realityboston.com). Additionally, resources to help you take full advantage of this time will be for sale during our Sunday Morning Gatherings.
Second, we read together. We really want to encourage you to read in community. Connect with others from your Neighborhood Group, or grab two other people and follow the Life Transformation Group (LTG) guidelines. For your own free copy of a LTG handout, you can stop by the Welcome Table to grab one.
Today, right now, Jesus is alive. The Apostle Paul wrote to an early church in the city of Colossae, telling them that in Him (Jesus), we have been ‘raised up with Him through faith in the working God, who raised Him from the dead’. Jesus is alive, and that changes everything.
(1) Adapted from Kimbrlee Conway Ireton’s, The Circle of Seasons (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2008)