Most Christians are familiar with the Season of Lent. It is the Season that precedes Easter and prepares us for that important holy day as we walk with Christ through his suffering while evaluating our own discipleship.
The Season that follows is Easter. Many people, including active Christians, don’t realize (or tend to forget) that Easter is not just a Sunday but is a Season in the church year. That’s why, during worship these days, I voice that reminder at least once during the worship service: “We remain in the Season of Easter”.
Here’s the thing I noticed: Lent is 40 days. Easter is 50 days. The Season of new life and resurrection is longer than the season of suffering and crucifixion.
That’s an important message. That is an important truth.
There are times in our lives when it can seem like we are caught in a downward spiral of despair, loneliness, and pain. It can feel like we will never feel differently again. It will always be this way. It may be hard to acknowledge in the moment, but what we are experiencing in those times is only a season. It feels very long, but it will not last forever. In fact, the season that follows will be one of new life and hope. And, most importantly, that new season will last longer than our despair.
The same holds true for our world. It can feel like things are spinning out of control; like injustice is growing and peace is precarious. In those moments, take a look at the seasons of the church year and remember that Easter is longer than Lent. Light outlasts darkness and God’s name is restoration.
It may not seem like a big deal: 50 days versus 40 days. But the message that difference conveys is a huge deal. It speaks to the nature of God and the benefits of taking in the long view.
And speaking of the wisdom of the Seasons of the Church Year, the Season of Easter concludes with Pentecost Sunday (this year on May 20th). That day begins the longest Season of the church year: The Season of Pentecost. It is the season of the Holy Spirit and takes us right up to the first Sunday in Advent.
This is yet another reminder that God’s compassion and calling are greater than any challenge we may face.