Easter is a time when church families gather together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If there is any day worth celebrating for the church, it is this one. Jesus is alive!
But once the pictures have been taken, the Easter eggs found, and the palette of pastel clothes tucked back into the closet, most of us are done celebrating Easter. We return to our day-to-day routines and wait for Christmas when we can do it all again.
Could it be, however, that we as Christ’s people still have more to celebrate?
I want to offer three days for consideration after Easter. Each of these days marks a vitally important day in the life of the early church as well as a continual testimony of God’s work through the Holy Spirit today.
Perhaps you would consider putting these days on your calendar as a way to continue to celebrate the resurrection and the ongoing work of the Spirit. These might serve as excellent opportunities for you, your family, friends, neighbors or kids to celebrate God’s work in the weeks and months following Easter.
The Ascension – 40 Days After Easter (2018: May 10)
We all know Jesus appeared to the disciples and many others after He was raised from the dead. We even include the ascension in many of our Easter Pageants (if we can find the wires and a Jesus who isn’t afraid of heights). But we often think of this happening over the course of just a few days. In reality, Jesus spent 40 days displaying His resurrected body and victory over death. After those 40 days, He was taken up into the clouds in view of a gathered group of disciples on Mt. Olivet.
How can you celebrate? Consider taking your family outside for a picnic. Set out a blanket on top of a small hill. Read Acts 1:1-11. Look at the clouds together. Consider what it might be like when he returns in the same way he left (Acts 1:11).
Pentecost – 50 Days After Easter (2018: May 20)
The arrival of God the Holy Spirit should be a tremendous day of celebration for the Christian. After all, He is the one who guides us into all truth and is the source of daily life as He conforms us to Christ-likeness through the Word. Pentecost was also the day the disciples spoke in different languages, and Peter stood up preaching the Gospel boldly as thousands were saved.
How can you celebrate? Read the events of Acts 2. Spend ample time in prayer and the Holy Spirit-inspired Scriptures (perhaps Psalm 119 celebrating the leadership of God through His Word). Go to a website like joshuaproject.net and consider the almost 17,000 different ethnic groups in the world. Remembering God’s desire that all tribes, tongues and nations would be blessed through the Gospel, commit to pray for an unreached people group.
Healing the Lame Beggar – Unspecified Date.
The next record in Scripture after Pentecost is the healing of the lame man in Acts 3. On this day, Peter and John first met a man’s physical need in order to boldly declare the gospel message. They were also thrown in prison for the Gospel.
How can you celebrate? Read Acts 3:1-4:31 together as a group of friends or family. While we don’t have a specific date for this event, you could pick a day a week or two after Pentecost. Consider in advance how you could meet a physical need as an avenue to boldly share the Gospel.
Serve on that day (starting at the ninth hour would be appropriate) at a homeless shelter, food pantry or other mission. Talk together with your kids, family or group about why meeting physical needs is important as a means to the Gospel. Also remember those around the world who are in prison for sharing the Gospel. Pray for them and their boldness in continuing to uplift the good news of Jesus Christ.