Like Christmastide, Easter isn’t just one day on the calendar. Easter is a season. The season of Eastertide is also known on the church calendar as “The Great Fifty Days.” I love that name for this season because it captures for me what the fifty days from Easter to Pentecost should be about.
Every Sunday on the church calendar is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and should be celebrated as such. The Great Fifty Days give us an opportunity to continue the celebration of Christ’s transforming resurrection and the days Christ spent on earth before he ascended to heaven. During these fifty days Jesus met with his disciples as well as many faithful Christians. He used these fifty days to show them the meaning and power of the resurrection. During these fifty days the doubt, fear, and failure of the eleven remaining Disciples was transformed into the message of Christ as victor of sin and death.
At the end of these Great Fifty Days the Apostle Peter, the man who had denied Christ three times in fear, stood before a crowd of thousands on Pentecost and proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ. He proclaimed Christ with a new found enthusiasm and the power of the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit transformed this weather beaten fisherman into a powerful evangelist and church leader.
As we celebrate the Great Fifty Days let us continue to proclaim the Easter message that Jesus Christ is risen! Let us continue to share the gospel of the love and grace of Jesus Christ without putting aside our usual timidity. The days of the victor of Christ have not ended with Holy Week. Or even in these fifty days. The message of the joy of Christ’s over coming love is the message of the church for each and every day.
Hallelujah! Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!