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by Lenny Esposito
People have often commented on the incredibly fast pace of our current culture. We live in a "get it then forget it" society where we're always looking towards the next thing, but we don't take the time to ponder what we have already. Even in our celebrations, we are sometimes too quick to move on. Take Easter for example. We think of it as a single day. We make some preparations, mark it with a day at church and maybe a family dinner, and then it's over. Put the decorations away; what next on the calendar? But this approach doesn't do justice to the incredible change that the events of the first Easter Sunday brought. If you only focus on Easter as one day, you will miss out on a joyful and powerful time to reinvigorate yourself as a member of the body of Christ. You will miss out on the historic Christian tradition of celebrating Eastertide.
What is Eastertide? It is simply another name for the Easter season, those fifty days between Christ's resurrection and Pentecost. Most people have heard of the season of Lent, leading up to Easter, but the celebration of Eastertide has somehow fallen out of popular favor, especially with Protestants. While Lent is a solemn time marked with abstinence and quietness, Eastertide can be a time of re-invigoration and joy.
It is during these fifty days that Jesus showed Himself to His disciples on multiple occasions. It is here that Jesus reveals Himself to Thomas and recommissions Peter. It is here that Jesus explains Himself to the two walking to Emmaus. It is here he appears before five hundred brethren and promises the disciples that the Holy Spirit will come upon them in power not many days from now. It is here that Jesus ascends to the Father to intercede on our behalf forever.
Because of all this, Jesus' followers were engaged and excited. Look at how the two Emmaus disciples reacted after they realized they had been with Jesus in Luke 24:31-35…
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