Recognition and Celebration of Eastertide

Easter Meditation

13

Today’s the day! After forty days (and six Sundays) we can finally indulge in sweets, log back into Netflix, and proclaim that most blessed of phrases, “Alleluia!” New life in Christ is represented by the collection of Easter eggs, the presentation of flowers, and the joyful ringing of church bells. Friends and family gather together to celebrate the reunion of Jesus and his disciples with food and prayer and, in the case of my family a team-building – or should I say competitive – game of basketball.

Indeed, the Lord is risen this Sunday and all Sundays forevermore. However, we must not forget that according to the Gospel of John, when Mary Magdalene first came upon the empty tomb, she could not believe that Jesus had truly been resurrected. Instead, she wept and mourned the loss of what had been. Like Peter who denied Jesus as his master and Thomas who doubted Jesus’s return, Mary follows the tradition of hesitation that is so often found in the Gospels. This hesitation, though undesirable, is pure human instinct that we all experience from time to time.

For example, I must admit that while I usually revel in the quiet reflectiveness that is Lent, I’ve struggled through it this year. I’ve blatantly disregarded my own goal to stop spending money on unnecessary items, I’ve put off assignments indefinitely, and I’ve taken my building irritability out on the people closest to me. Approaching the end of Lent, it was as if God had to pry my resolute fingers away from the unaccountable sadness of which I couldn’t seem to let go. Like Mary, I had momentarily forgotten to trust in the approaching happiness God has promised God’s people in the face of the tragedies that surrounded me.

Letting go of something, while it’s meant to feel like a release, requires a lot of hard work. Humans are so accustomed to self­-preservation, to holding the things they love close in anticipation that they might be taken away, that something as simple as a trust fall could feel as dangerous as plunging backwards off a cliff. We must constantly remind ourselves that, while it is okay for us to be swept up in our own preoccupations every once in a while, God will always be standing behind us, ready to catch us.

If there’s anything I’ve learned this Lent, it’s that doubt, while natural and sometimes necessary, can be toxic. In the past few weeks, doubt has pervaded my thoughts and negatively affected my actions. Doubt has poisoned the activities I love and mistreated the people I love. My doubt has changed me, and not for the better. As it’s Easter, it’s about time that I surrender my doubt to God and believe that in this beautiful world that we live in, this time of tragedy and strife can be overcome, starting with the recognition and celebration of Eastertide.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 7.55.18 AMWritten by Abigail E. Page

Abigail was baptized and confirmed at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wallingford, Connecticut, where both sides of her family have been attending service for over fifty years. She now attends Grace Church in New York City and participates in the student organization Canterbury Downtown. Abigail studies English and American Literature and Creative Writing at New York University, and has spent a semester in London. She hopes to do a little bit of everything in the future, including teaching, editing, publishing, reporting, and writing. Lent is her favorite penitential season, but she always looks forward to Easter as long as there are Cadbury Eggs and family sporting events to be had.

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