The Great 50 Days of Easter
Easter Sunday is not just the start of the week; it is the beginning of a whole new creation. Easter Sunday is the day the symbolizes eternity and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Surely the first disciples experienced pure joy with Jesus’ rising from the dead. It is the same joy we sometimes see on the faces of the newly baptized as they are washed clean of sin and rose to a new life of grace. It is a joy that cannot be contained in just one moment. Like children at play, the disciples wanted the joy to last. Easter spread through the whole week during the early church. The week became a legal holiday as Christians gained power in many parts of the Roman Empire. The church, in the third century, let the Easter joy overflow into a 50-day season from Easter to Pentecost. The newly baptized preached the meaning of their new lives and kneeling in prayer was forbidden. Our ancestors found great symbolic meaning and the 50 days of Easter became known as the Great Sunday of the Year.
Take a thoughtful and fresh look at the colors displayed throughout the church. The value of the true color scheme rests in the purpose; to serve God’s worshiping community by assisting in communicating the holy faith from generation to generation. The beauty and symbolism of color continues to serve us well. White is the color the supports the theme for the Great Fifty Days of Easter. It is the appointed color for several festive Sundays and special occasions of the church year. White is the color of purity and completeness. Jesus’ triumph from the grace on Resurrection day is the cause of our rejoicing. His purity becomes our purity. White reinforces that message of joy.
Fifty days of heavenly joy may seem hard for us to sustain these days. Easter is the time when we are meant to experience what it means when we say Christ has risen. God calls us out to move on and live what we have celebrated all our lives. Jesus gave a promise which is especially meaningful today when we celebrate Jesus’ return to life; “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he may die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives in me shall never die,” (John 11:25-26)
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