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We welcome Reverend Annie Reilly while Reverend Jes Kast-Keat is away.
I began my full-time ministry on Epiphany 2012, when I was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. I love that my ordination anniversary is tied to a significant holiday on our liturgical calendar.
Since my ordination, my understanding of seasons has shifted from school year to liturgical year. My life and ministry are shaped by the ebb and flow of ordinary time interspersed with designated periods of expectation, reflection, and celebration. I think that I was in Advent for about seven years once.
But now it is Eastertide. Just like with Christmas, I am reminded that Easter is not just a day, but rather a whole season which concludes with the holy chaos that is Pentecost. I like the name, “Eastertide”, because my mind instantly goes to “tide pool”. This is a new metaphor for me, because I am a mid-western person who grew up on the shores of a mighty lake that didn’t have the sort of dramatic tides that these east coast oceans have.
Lent is like the tide, slowly coming to shore. Each week closer to Easter, the tide comes further up on shore. “Easter is coming,” the waves say, “but we must go through the cross to get there”. Good Friday crashes over the breakers with force and drama. And then it is Easter and the full volume of God’s love comes to shore, saturating all that it touches, soaking, drenching, renewing. Left in the wake of the Resurrection, the tide pools have been disturbed. These micro ecosystems now shook up by the force of high tide have been feed, changed, enlivened, and renewed. The water may recede during Eastertide, but the pools continue on, sun-warmed and thriving.
This is how I think of the season of Easter. It is not only about what the resurrection is, but also about what the resurrection does. The resurrection shows us that Jesus Christ cannot be found among the dead. The resurrection invites us to move past the cross, not forgetting where we have been, but also to be awakened in joy to all that God has promised for us. We are an Easter people, basking in the glory of the Risen Christ, refreshed by waves of grace that overtake us at the resurrection. Pentecost will come to shake us up again. Ebb and flow, grow and change, thrive and surprise. This is the life we have in Christ.