An Easter Experience

I didn’t grow up in the liturgical church. One day Merrilee, who I road to church with on a regular basis, asked me about wearing a certain liturgical color on a particular celebration day. I didn’t look at her as if she had three heads, but it did give me pause. Since then I have grown more in my understanding of the liturgical church year and its purpose.

This year I learned that Easter actually has fifty days. The fifty days between Easter and Pentecost are called Eastertide. A few weeks ago, I celebrated Good Friday by being a part of a very special “stations of the cross.” Various peace groups such as Campaign Nonviolence of North Carolina and members of the transgender community gathered at the state capitol. The stations of the cross were situated around the facility and in downtown Raleigh. As scripture was read marking the stations, people spoke about issues such as Black Lives Matter, environmental justice, and bail bond reform.

At one station of the cross Jesus said “I thirst.” I wonder if he was thirsting for more than water? Maybe he was thirsting for an end to all human injustices. Perhaps he was thirsting and mourning for an end to all war. Jesus knew the spiritual and eternal impact that his suffering at the various stations would have on people of faith and good will.

May this Eastertide season help us all to appreciate the liturgical church year and the ways that it can enhance, enlighten, and strengthen our faith. Amen.