Monday, March 28, 2005

keeping the spirit of Easter alive

Keeping the spirit of Easter alive during the next 50 days can be a challenge. Lent is only 40 days long, but Easter is 50! Somehow we don't seem to have a problem with keeping the Lenten spirit of penitence and solemnity for 40 days. But 50 days of joy and gladness and merriment? Maybe for a week or two...or possibly three. But seven weeks of Easter joy? Hmmm...That can be difficult.

So, I was looking for suggestions today out there on blogland on how to keep the spirit of Easter going. I found a few and they are listed below. Some of these are my own and some are from various sources. And yes, these suggestions are easy and do-able. I found one suggestion that says: "Start going to the gym, start an exercise regimen: bring health and life into your dreary, dry bones!" Now that's healthy...But, no, I won't tell you to do that. Anyway, here are ten suggestions...I hope these help:

--I have seen Advent candles around, and so I don't see why we can't have an Easter Candle in our homes. It can be a simple candle, but reasonably large enough to last 50 days (it doesn't have to be as big as your Church's Paschal Candle now). Set in a nice holder. Light it when reading, or meditating, or praying. Or, set it in your home dining table and light it every Sunday at family meals.

--Be on the lookout for hidden blessings in unexpected places as you go about your day at work or at home, with friends or co-workers. An Easter "egg-hunt" shouldn't just be for eggs, but for moments of blessings and grace throughout the day.

--Know a nice, catchy, upbeat tune? Let that be the "background" music in your head as you work, or drive, or run errands, or go shopping. If it's a favorite song or hymn of yours, the better: Go right ahead and "play" it.

--Notice the "good news" out there. The papers and TV news are full of dreary, sad newsbits. But search for newsitems that catch your attention and which raise your spirits: stories that affirm your belief in the nobility of every person and of the hidden hand of God.

--Remember the times in your life when you had to overcome adversity and trials and worry. Remember how you overcame those. Easter is all about overcoming death and defeat.

--Cut blooms from your garden to enjoy in a vase indoors. Or....

--Bring new life into the world. Go to your backyard or frontyard and plant something. If you live in an apartment with no yard of your own, buy a potted plant and take good care of it.

--Find a creek or river and enjoy the moving water. During a rainstorm, make the house quiet, sit, and listen to the rain.

--The next time you enter Church, pay closer attention to the font. Remember that the holy water in it is meant to remind us of the waters with which we were baptized. So go ahead and bless yourself with that water. And if you have kids, tell them that the water in that font is just like the water with which they themselves were baptized as babies.

--Recognize Christ on your daily journey of faith, the way the disciples encountered the resurrected Jesus on the road to Emmaus. This encounter changed the disciples! Allow Christ to change you by taking the time to listen, being present and "breaking bread" with those on your journey.

If you have other suggestions, great!

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