Easter and Death

Ironically, Easter is a German goddess. The church in England appropriated the name of the goddess for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. (In most Christian places, Easter is called Pascha or some variation of that word.) The goddess’ festival is during the vernal equinox and the fourth month of the Germanic calendar is named for her. Easter is the goddess of spring and of dawn. The church shifted the pagan celebration of spring to the celebration of the Jesus’ resurrection.

Easter is not one day. It is fifty days, with the last day being Pentecost. (In the US, we tend to compress things like celebrating the twelve days of Christmas on one day.) Though every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection, the Easter season focuses on Jesus’ resurrection and we contemplate the hope, given to us by Jesus, for everlasting life for all of us. This is good news indeed.

When we die, we give up everything we have. We give up our bodies. We give up our possessions. We give up our money. We give up everything, because we then join Jesus in eternal blessedness and love. The things we hold to dearly in this life become trivial and meaningless compared to a life of total love. All of the needs we have in this life disappear.

All that we have are God’s. God knows we have needs in this life. God does what can be done to help us meet those needs. In the next life, we are relieved of those needs.

When the time of our death comes, how will we dispose of those things we have but no longer need? Since they ultimately belong to God, why not remember the church in our wills and trusts? It would be a thanksgiving for our entry into eternal blessedness. It would be a way to honor God for God’s great gifts. In addition, anyone with minor children should name a guardian in case the child’s parents meet Jesus prematurely.

Jesus’ resurrection changed the world. From that event, Jesus’ followers spread Jesus’ message and the story of the resurrection throughout the world. Let us celebrate Easter during the great fifty days, giving thanks to God for the promise of eternal life.

 

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