Yesterday some parts of the Church celebrated Easter, it was Orthodox Easter Sunday, but other parts of the Church celebrated over a week ago. Each country has a different day that they celebrate their beginning, and each country has other different days that they celebrate other special events, but when it comes to things like Christmas, other religious holidays, and the calendar year, everyone really agrees on the dates. I’ve always been one to enjoy celebrating Christmas and Easter, and find value in remembering the teachings and feelings of the holidays all year long, so I don’t mind that we’ve got two different dates for people to celebrate what is one of the most important days of the religious calendar year.
There are so many things that we can disagree over each day, from the very simple to the very complicated. Sometimes we disagree because of feelings and sometimes because we’ve got different facts. Sometimes we disagree because of our backgrounds or experiences. Sometimes we disagree because we have different sets of beliefs and faiths. And sometimes those disagreements can place you on very different sides of the table, say Muslims and Christians or Republicans and Democrats or vegetarians and meat lovers. But I don’t think the disagreement of a date should in any way diminish the importance or value of the celebration of Easter.
Ultimately the two dates of Easter come down to a difference of opinion on which calendar to use, and given the number of questions that people have around the exact dates of Jesus’ life, it’s not overly surprising. Of course I would rather have people pick one of two dates than not celebrate Easter at all. And if we choose to celebrate Easter both Sundays, well, there’s nothing wrong with that because every day is a great day to remember that Jesus rose again from the grave and gave us the opportunity to have eternal life with Him. Every day we need that reminder that we’re forgiven and free. Every day we need the reminder that we’re loved. Every day we need to be reminded to care for the other people we share this planet with, and care for this planet as well. Every day we need a reminder that God goes with us through it all, from the beginning to the end and through every challenge and celebration in between.
Hopefully you haven’t forgotten about Easter even though we celebrated it over a week ago. Hopefully you’re still seeing some reminders around your home, whether candy, plastic eggs or flowers like lilies. Maybe you’re just finishing up some Easter devotionals, or maybe you’ve still got some Easter decorations up. But as you know Easter is more than just these words or symbols, it’s hope, it’s salvation, it’s a relationship with Jesus who was both human and divine. Easter isn’t one day, it’s our whole lives.