Rise: An Easter Reflection

Easter is the most important liturgical season in the Christian year. It begins with Easter Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and culminates on Pentecost Sunday, the Church’s birthday and the day the Holy Spirit descended to the apostles. The season is 50 days in total, the Church’s way of prolonging the joy of Christ’s resurrection.

wooden cross with flowersWhat Joy?

Joy. I’ll be honest, when I look at the state of the world today, I sometimes {often} find it difficult to see, or even look for, joy. The devastating war in Israel. Climate change. The frustrating mess that is our government. The unpredictable challenges and concerns over AI. The upcoming presidential election. These are just a fraction of the issues in the world that have upped my anxiety lately.

So when I think of an entire season, a whole fifty days, devoted to joy and hope, I have to kick the urge to scoff and say, What joy? 

When the little girl in the gospels {Mark 5:41} died, I can only imagine the devastation her parents felt, as they were weeping and mourning over her. Did they too, look at that moment and think, What joy? 

When Lazarus died {John 11}, his sister Martha weeps at the feet of Jesus, telling Him, “Lord if you had been there, my brother would not have died.” Did she, too, struggle? What joy? 

When Jesus died, his apostles must have been so lost and confused. Jesus was the Son of God, the Truth, the Light. And yet, they watched as He died a gruesome death on the cross. Darkness came upon the Earth {Mark 15:33}. Where is the Light? What joy? 

Rise to Seek Joy

Seeking joy is hard. It is easier for me to set up camp in the darkness, the suffering, and wait for joy, for hope to come to me. It is easier for me to passively wait out Lent to get to Easter, rather than do the hard work of rooting out the darkness in my life to let in the light.

However, the little girl’s family didn’t wait. They sought Jesus out, their faith crying out to Him to save their daughter, even as people told them “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”

Martha, too, did not wait. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him. She said, “Even now, I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word rise this Lent. Jesus tells the little girl, Talitha koum, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” He tells Lazarus, “Come out!” and Lazarus rises and emerges from the tomb. In these stories, the little girl and Lazarus are dead, a seemingly hopeless situation. And after their encounter with Jesus, they rise, presumably changed forever, giving their families immense joy.

And Jesus rises from the dead, the ultimate moment of joy. Jesus’ apostles were so joyful from their encounter with Jesus, they did not wait. They rose from their fear and despair, to go out into the world and preach the gospel.

We, too, must rise and seek joy. We cannot wait for it to just happen to us. As women, and especially as mothers, I think we are so sensitive to despair. However, conversely, I believe women are also uniquely sensitive to joy, to beauty, to wonder. We see a sunset, a palette of pinks and oranges painted across the sky, and say to our children, “Look! See how beautiful!” We read stories aloud to our children, delighting in filling their wondrous imaginations. Even on a bad day, ours or theirs, we hug our children tight and revel in the quiet joy that is holding them. Each time we notice one of these moments, no matter how small, we rise from our struggles, our anxieties, our stressors.

The word Easter comes from Old English, meaning east. The sun rises in the east, bringing the light and warmth of a new day. So, too, did Jesus rise from the dead, bringing us light, warmth, and most importantly, the hope of a new life. My prayer for this joyous Easter Sunday, is that we can emerge from the darkness of this world and bask in that light, that warmth. Let us rise, and seek joy.

Previous articleBirthday Party Planning Made Easy
Next article12 Tips for Maintaining a Clean Home
Rebecca Slocum
Rebecca S. is a born and raised Houstonian; she grew up in Katy, graduated with a BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston {go Coogs!}, and made a home in West Houston with her native Houstonian husband. She quickly realized that the chaotic lifestyle of the hospitality industry was not for her and soon found her calling in education. She taught while earning her masters in Library Science from the University of North Texas. Currently, she is staying home with her son, Thomas {2016}, daughter Charlie {2020}, son Zack {2021}. In her free time, she loves to read, write, run, and roam the world. While her roots are firmly planted in H-town, she takes every available opportunity to go on an adventure and explore historic cities, hike and run new trails, and, of course, try beers from every country.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here