"Lots of things begin again at Eastertide. Jesus resurrection brings us into new relationship with him. What new beginnings with be revealed for you during this 50 day celebration?"
A Note from Building Faith
At Building Faith, we are ever mindful of the church calendar. Through these seasons we "live and move and have our being." The season of Easter (Eastertide) lasts 50 days! For most of us, however, the charm seems to wear off after about 3 weeks. There are some practical ways for reversing this trend. For example, a 50 Days Activity list from St. Chrysostom's in Manchester, UK. Below, Elizabeth Ring offers her suggestions for living into the Easter season!
Build on Lent
Did you try out a spiritual practice during Lent and find that it was a really great match for you? How does that practice move with you into this next stage of our journey with Jesus?
Prayer is one place to start. Lent is a time when many of us try really hard to remember to slow down and pray. What is the meal at which you are most relaxed? If there are children in your household, it may not be supper time. But what about a prayer practice at breakfast? Just a short “thank you for this day, be with us in whatever we do”could change the whole complexion of your day. Or a pad of sticky notes on which you each could write something you particularly wanted prayer for that day and a cupboard door to post them on. Each time a family member walked by they would see and be reminded to hold that for a moment before God. At the end of the 50 days review the collection together. Does your day feel different when you have these notes to hold in prayer each day?
Build on Baptism
These 50 days are also a wonderful opportunity to examine what we are doing that flows from our five baptismal promises. At the end of each day you might just sit with one of those five promises and reflect on what you did during the day that brought it to life. It could be a tiny thing or a big decision. Did you say a prayer? Did you resist a temptation to do wrong? Was your day an example of the Good News of God in Christ? Did you reach out to your neighbor? Were you a peacemaker and justice advocate? Don’t expect to have a grand answer to them all each day. Look for the little moments of grace. Then say a short thank you prayer.
In the book The Catechumenal Process (Church Hymnal Corporation, 1990), Ann McElligott describes these 50 days, Stage 4 of the process: Understanding Sacramental Living, as time to explore deeply the mysteries of Baptism and Eucharist and reminds us that “baptism is not graduation from but entrance into a community for which formation, growth, and transition are ongoing processes.”
Build with Art
Draw. As we, at every age, reflect on the mystery of God and on the baptismal promises, have a basket of paper and colored pencils handy. Just doodle as you think about your day. I think you will enjoy the surprise.
Lots of things begin again at Eastertide. Jesus resurrection brings us into new relationship with him. In the northern hemisphere, spring is bringing all sorts of new life around us; baby animals are being born, plants are sprouting, and people are opening windows and shaking off the dust of winter. What new beginnings with be revealed for you during this 50 day celebration?
Elizabeth Ring is a consultant for Lifelong Learning and Leadership Development. She served for 27 years as Director of the Maine Diocesan Resource Center managing the collection of materials, leading workshops and training events, and assisting with Diocesan Convention. She blogs at pebblesinapond.wordpress.com.
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