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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and   petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”    -Philippians 4:6-7

 

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St. Paul's Blogs
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May 1, 2019, 12:00 AM

Easter is over...So What Now?


Wow! What an exciting winter and early spring!  There was so much activity  going on with our  celebrations of Christ over the last few months. We started way back in November with preparation of the coming birth of Christ and moved through the next couple of months with Celebrations and remembering the birth story.  From there, we moved in to the Lent season and prepared for the celebrations of His Ultimate Sacrifice for us on the cross with a busy Holy Week ending with celebration of Christ's rising from the Dead to fulfill prophecy. 

So what now?

As we wind down the school year and prepare for summer vacations, many churches also scale back on Sunday Schools, Youth and small groups as well as taking a summer break from choirs and other activities. It seems like we just end it all and don't move forward again until we come back from the fall. 

It made me wonder what we should  be doing over these humdrum months. As I listened to the service this past Sunday, it made me realized maybe I should see what Christ instructed us to do as we move forward and here is what I found.

First, as I looked into the time after Easter, I learned there are actually six seasons in the Methodist liturgical year. It turns out there are actually 2 seasons between Easter and Advent when we begin to gear up again for all the celebrations over the winter months. The season following Easter Sunday  is called the Easter Season and last 50 days and is followed by the Season after Pentecost.  Combined these are called the Ordinary Season.

Ok, now that leaves me with more questions, so I decided to look into the curren Easter Season. So what exactly is Easter Season?

Well, according to the UMC.org glossary, Easter Season "celebrates on the one hand the risen Christ with his appearances and teachings and on the other hand the beginnings of the Christian church" and the term Pentecost historically referred to the time between Easter and Pentecost, but now the term is reserved only for Pentecost Sunday. 

Easter is actually 50 days long, not just one day.  It is the season that we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church and in the early church it was used to continue the faith formation of new Christians. Today, it is a season for continuing to rejoice and to experience what it means for Christ to be risen. We remember our baptism and Christ's gift of salvation, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and exploring how we are to live and become more faithful disciples of Christ. 

So what now? 
I expect to continue to celebrate my baptism and the gift of Salvation that I have received. I plan to learn how to use the gifts I have received from the Holy Spirit by reading passages and bible studies in the book of Acts while looking forward to the day of Pentecost when we will celebrate the day that the gift of the Holy Spirit was first received by the Apostles. Traditionally, it is the book Acts that is focused on over the next 50 Days, so this is where I will begin.
 

So where will you begin?

 

jlp

 

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