April 8, 2012

Easter carries the fundamental and underlying theme of Christianity. This is our witness. This is our Gospel. This is what we are all about. It is as relevant and life changing today as it ever was.

Why does the date of Easter bounce around the calendar every year? Sometimes it is as early as March 22. Sometimes it is as late as April 25. The early church wanted to keep it as close to Passover as possible. Since the Jewish calendar is a moon calendar and ours, a sun calendar, Easter was chosen to be on the first Sunday after the Paschal (“the passing over”) Full Moon. Before the year 325 and the Council of Nicaea, the spring equinox was brought into the calculation. “Passover” began the Jewish journey to freedom. Full moon, spring equinox—the earth itself proclaims rebirth, renewal, resurrection.

Nature proclaims resurrection—lilies blooming, colored Easter eggs as symbols of the joy of hatching, the dawn of a new day shining upon countless sunrise services, wormy caterpillars unto beautiful butterflies—all proclaim the joy of new beginnings. The scriptures tell us that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it cannot possibly live again. But if it falls into the earth and dies, it will produce a thousand fold.

Such is the pattern and paradigm for all life. And such will be the theme for our Easter Sunday morning service.