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Why Easter Is Bigger Than Any One Season

Christ’s resurrection turned everything around.

Spring tulips
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It’s only natural to turn to the flowers of spring as we celebrate Easter. The daffodils popping up all over, forsythia on the vine, the heather I see on the hills when I run, and Easter lilies, naturally. As though all of nature is reminding us of the joy of the Resurrection. New life springing forth.

But I think back to the Easter we once celebrated in South Africa at a monastery where our son was staying. Indeed, the hills were rich with color there, the native protea in particular painting the landscape pink and purple.

And yet, in the Southern Hemisphere it wasn’t spring. It was fall. The days getting shorter, the nights becoming cooler, winter approaching. We awoke before the dawn to gather with the brothers outside as they lit the Paschal Candle. 

We went inside to the chapel, and with godly timing the sun rose, shining in the window and our faces as we proclaimed, “The Lord is risen…The Lord is risen indeed.” After a richly satisfying service of music, prayer and praise, we moved to the refectory for a feast of lamb, fresh vegetables, dessert—everything but the jellybeans we’d get at home.

Was it any less of a celebration because it was autumn? Not in the least. 

That Easter in an autumnal setting was a reminder that it is even bigger than any single season.

Think of it. Flowers might bloom at Easter, but then they die and turn into seeds that settle into rich soil, put down roots, drink the melting snows and burst into new blooms the next spring. It’s cyclical. Death and new life and then death again…

Easter, on the other hand, turned everything around. Christ was crucified and His body was put into a tomb where His followers expected to greet a corpse on Easter morning. Death, after all, was forever.

But they discovered something amazing: death is not forever. Christ transformed all that. He rose from the dead, and death has no power over any of us. Christ was resurrected for us. Wow, it’s mind-boggling.

You can imagine, as we see in the various gospel accounts, how stupefying—even frightening—it was to Jesus’s followers. Notice, though, that the first to witness the Resurrection were the women. The same ones who stuck around until the bitter end at Calgary.  

I see a message in that: that those who don’t run away from the sorrows of life can also be the same who greet the revealing, saving messages of hope.

Easter is something we honor all year round, no matter the season, no matter the weather, no matter the hardships we face or the relief we yearn for. That promise is always there. Whether flowers are bursting forth or not.

Enjoy Easter along with the flowers of spring. And keep celebrating it in summer, winter and fall. Because Christ is risen. Always and forever.

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