Resurrection Sunday is behind us, but Easter is not. The feast of Easter is a liturgical season of fifty days – i.e., the Great Fifty Days of Easter. Eastertide lasts through the Feast of Pentecost, which celebrates the outpouring of the Spirit on the Church.
In 325, the Council of Nicaea directed that, during the Great Fifty Days of Easter, Christians should pray standing in the posture of the Resurrection and repeatedly sing “Alleluia,” which contrasts sharply with the Lenten season when alleluia is omitted.
Eastertide is a time when it is especially appropriate for us to reflect on being a People of the Resurrection reconciled with God and each other in Christ. Reconciliation is at the heart of the Gospel as well as the mission of the Church. It is difficult to understand how some can rationalize their harsh judgment of others with our God, who – as Holy Scripture tells us – is a God of love, and who in Christ gave us a New Commandment – to love as we are loved.
Some of our fellow Christians are just too intense; it’s not our role to judge others. After all, there is a God and it’s not us. It’s for this reason that we at St. Nicholas try not to take ourselves too seriously. With that said, we take seriously the command to love and to serve in Christ’s name. I’m pleased to announce that in addition to serving nearly 31,000 hot, spirit-lifting meals since September 2016 to the homeless and working poor through our Holy Grill mobile feeding ministry, we have expanded our signature ministry to include a mobile food bank supplying nearly 50 different feeding programs from South Miami in Dade County to North Palm Beach County.
We welcome volunteers of all faiths and no faiths. All we ask is that you have a caring heart. Join us and learn what a blessing it is to be a blessing for others.
By The Rev. Mark Andrew Jones, BSG
St. Nicholas Episcopal Church