Following is the article I submitted to the local paper for the ministerial column.
As a teacher and coach I both loved and hated this time of year. For me the month of April meant time outside working with the track and field team going to meets and enjoying being with the young people in a setting apart from the classroom. It was fun to watch them improve in what to me was a more measurable standard of inches and feet and times. On the other hand, April in the classroom meant that we had finished the various units on Shakespeare’s plays, and my juniors had completed To Kill a Mocking Bird. (I kept that order every year to keep me enthusiastic during that long month of March.) But April was always a tough month for me because I knew that the end of the year was on the horizon. May was the time when the seniors graduated and left the building. May was when we had to give up, send away, let go of those students who had become important leaders in our building.
In the church we begin the post-Easter season in which we study the actions of the disciples after the crucifixion and resurrection of their beloved leader, Jesus. In those days the disciples must have been torn between the loss of Jesus as their constant companion and the happiness of knowing that Jesus had overcome death and was reunited with God. As Christians we have just gone through the season of Lent in which we study the life of Jesus and his work on this earth. We spend time in self-sacrifice or fasting or even giving ourselves to doing various works for others. For some we spend more time in prayer and meditation on who Jesus is to us and how we are to react in our own lives. Mostly Lent is a somber time.
For us the real joy comes after Easter in knowing that Christ is risen, and that he is risen not just for his disciples and those who followed him in his day, but that he is risen for us. Although we in our day and age know the facts of Jesus’ resurrection going into the season of Lent or any season of the Christian year, it is somehow more pronounced to us at this time. Easter is the season when we are able to wake each morning and remind ourselves, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24. All we need to do to accept this joy daily is believe and follow our resurrected Christ. May you be reminded of God’s love each day, and share it with those around you.