Keep the Easter Feast

Posted by Ruth Beresford on

Jerome Berryman was an Episcopal priest who developed the Montessori-based worship and formation called Godly Play. Our Minister for Children and Youth, Lynne Jensen, was an early practitioner and then a trainer in this deeply spiritual method of sharing faith in Jesus with our youngest Christians. Berryman based Godly Play firmly in the liturgical calendar to observe the rhythm of seasons and celebrations. In our Godly Play classrooms, there is a calendar to mark the Sundays and seasons. Two of the white felt blocks in the circle are marked with stars; Christmas Day and Easter Day. You notice the white of Christmas quickly disappears, but the white blocks of Easter stretch for seven Sundays. In The Complete Guide to Godly Play, Berryman writes, "Easter is so great a mystery that you can't keep it in only one Sunday." How can we make that to be true? How can the season of resurrection stretch to its full 50 days?

Forward Movement produces a regular blog called Grow Christians for encouraging faith formation of children in the home. In her post, Seven Weeks of Feasting, Emily Watkins gives several wonderful suggestions for keeping Easter in the home. I have a few as well. 

Rejoice. Spend these next 45 days rejoicing, giving thanks and praise for the gift of life and the gift of grace that leads to new life. Laughter and levity is like fresh yeast raising the bread; rejoicing and levity raises fellowship to new heights. Lighten up a little this Eastertide. 

Worship. In the midst of the 9 AM Easter service, an acolyte looked at the full church and said to me, "Why can't it be like this every Sunday? Why can't this church be full?" It can if we come, if we all make it a Sunday practice to come to worship and remember the loving kindness of God and the challenge to show that love in our lives. Worship strengthens our community. Another parishioner recently said, "Sometimes I need to be here for me, and sometimes I need to be here for someone else." When we come together in Christ's name, it's not always about meeting your personal need. Sometimes being in this community is so that you are here when someone needs you to share the faith with them, to pray with them, to give a simple smile and a caring embrace. Worship this Eastertide. 

Feast. If Lent was about self-denial and fasting, Easter isn't exactly about self-indulgence, but it is to be a festival season. We have a few feasting events here at the church this Easter, but I'd encourage you to select a couple of friends, both within and outside the Christ Church community, and plan a dinner party or meet for a meal in a local restaurant. Share stories of how you are finding renewal and strength, hope and joy in your life. Post some photos on our Instagram or Facebook page.

This is a season for joy and laughter, for feasting and delight. Rejoice and give thanks to God for the gift of a resurrection life.

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