God’s anger is but for a moment; God’s favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning. – Psalm 30:5 (NRSV with inclusive language)
The other day, my wife made her famous apple pie. Only it wasn’t. She took the recipe from a different place, thinking it was the usual. When the pie came out, she knew something wasn’t right. The apples had overcooked. The crust wasn’t flaky. It tasted like nothing.
The next week she tried again and discovered her mistake. The two recipes were nearly identical. The difference was just 1/4 cup of flour and 1/12 cup of shortening. But from our first bites of the second pie, we knew: Yes! That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Baking is a delicate balance. So is faith.
Easter, like Lent, is supposed to be a season. Fifty days stretching to Pentecost. Seven weeks of celebration, resurrection, and joy. It’s called Eastertide. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know. No one does.
Many of us observe 40 days of solemn introspection at Lent. We give things up. We take things on. We remember we are dust. We bury our hallelujahs.
Then, for one glorious morning, it’s lilies and trumpets and candy-filled plastic eggs; 40 parts Lent to 1 part Easter.
That’s the wrong recipe. The original calls for 50x as much! Fifty times as many rolled away stones! Fifty times as many empty tombs! Fifty times as much death-defeating love!
Imagine the difference. In your life. In your church. In our world.
The balance is off. It’s time to switch recipes. Welcome to Eastertide.
Joyful God, death-defeating Love: your anger is for a moment, your favor is for a lifetime. Death has had its day, joy has come. Hallelujah!