"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.." - Genesis 1:1-4
If you go any kind of store today, you will see that Easter is over. The plastic eggs will be half-price, and the Easter candy will be on clearance, never to be seen again until next February.
There's just one problem with that: no matter what the stores are saying, Easter isn't over.
Yesterday was Easter Sunday, but today is only the second in the 50 days of the Easter season, lasting until Pentecost. Which means that we are only just beginning the journey of the season of Resurrection. While yesterday may have been the day of the empty tomb, today is just as much the day of new beginnings.
I think maybe that's the reason today's lectionary gives us the first few verses from Genesis. Sometimes we journey through Lent thinking that we are running a marathon that ends at the entrance to the empty tomb. Some of us arrive exhausted, crashing through the finish line, maybe even ready to pick back up whatever we've given up for Lent.
But, the reality is that Lent is not the race. Lent was just practice for what comes now. Because Easter is where we learn how to live in the joy of the Resurrection.
And so, you have 49 more days to celebrate Easter. How will you do it? Will you live in the promise of the Resurrection? Will you let joy and love guide you through the season? And will you let new life take root in you?
In a very real way, you're still on page one. The choice is yours what comes next.
God, we give you thanks for a long season of Resurrection, and we pray that it may take root in us all. Amen.
Emily C. Heath is Senior Pastor of The Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire.