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40 Days After Easter

Posted by Taylor Sandlin on with 3 Comments


N. T. Wright notes in his book, Surprised by Hope, that he experiences a let down after Easter. Mostly he says, this let down occurs because after spending forty days observing Lent by fasting, practicing self-denial, and not a little gloom, the single day of celebrating the resurrection seems to be a little anti-climatic. Doesn't the resurrection deserve more than that? He suggests an eight-day celebration in which we all take off work and every day begins with "champagne served after morning prayer or even before, with lots of alleluias and extra hymns and spectacular anthems."

Sounds great to me, although, I know most of us can’t take off for eight days of celebrating. We might do cinnamon rolls instead of champagne. Still, I like what Wright is trying to accomplish. Easter deserves all the celebrating we can connect with it. 

Wright does make one more suggestion that is very doable. In fact, I think it’s downright genius. He suggests that we should balance out “giving something up” for Lent with an equal observance of “taking something up” for Easter. That is, we ought to follow up Easter Sunday with a forty day period (up to the Day of Ascension) of “taking something up, some new task or venture, something wholesome and fruitful and outgoing and self-giving.” Whereas giving something up for Lent reminds us of the sacrifice of Christ, taking something up for Easter reminds us of the new life we’ve been given through Christ’s resurrection.

You could write a poem a day for the next six weeks, or finally go out and buy that guitar and start to practice. You could pull out all your old art supplies and get at it once more. Maybe pick up some foreign language software and start learning another tongue. Grab a friend or a friend’s kid and invite them to help you build that tree-house you’ve always thought of building in that glorious oak out back. Whatever you choose to take up, let it stretch you into new areas of life, community, and possibilities. Let it remind you that the great promise of the resurrection is that in Christ we have indeed been made new!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Grace and peace,

Pastor Taylor



Donnelle Atkinson April 4, 2018 4:48pm

I love these ideas to help us continue 40 days to celebrate the Resurrection. I need to figure out what I want to do ASAP. I’ve introduced myself to you once when WITW had an evacuation on a Wednesday morning. My daughter Shannon Barbe and her family are members of SLBC and love it. I am the organist at FBC Rosenberg where we grew up but we live in SL now. I’ve been in probably 15+ Bible studies on Wednesday and loved all of them. Well, maybe except for 1. You and your family are in my prayers. We were there on first Sunday morning in March.

MARKETTEA BENEKE April 5, 2018 5:00pm

Beautifully said, Pastor Taylor. Having a Catholic hubby, we celebrate Easter until Ascension Sunday. It's wonderful!

Rosemary Cunningham April 6, 2018 8:54pm

Love love love this “new”
way of thinking about taking on something new. Now I need to
put on my creative thinking cap and come up with what that new thing will be. Thank you for helping me see Lent/ Easter in a different light.