50 Days of Resurrection

Saturday night I got my Easter Vigil on after church by watching The Jesus Mysteries on the National Geographic Channel. Honestly, it did a better job of explaining Jesus’ mission than most churches I’ve visited. What was great about it (for me) was that it mixed a scholarly approach with the real purpose of the gospel. That being said, their special effects department should be fired. Cheesy as hell, but the rest of it was good.

I’ve been thinking about how as Christians many of us will engage in special spiritual practices during the season of Lent and then after Easter we go back to “normal.” Some of us might keep up some of the practices, some give them up. But what about life after resurrection? Jesus life and particularly his miracles sent the message to the religious establishment that their definition of “unclean” no longer applied. Jesus restored the people who were ritually unclean to full participation in the spiritual community, breaking down the barrier between the Holy of Holies and God’s people. When Jesus died, the temple curtain ripped from top to bottom, eliminating the most literal barrier between God and God’s people. The ultimate in unclean is a dead body, so when Jesus’ own body returned and went to actually be right next to God, he even eliminated the barrier of death. This is what our lives and our churches should be about. Showing the world that everyone has access to God. Resurrection changes everything. So why not live that way?

I propose that in addition to a Lenten practice, we also engage in an Easter practice, for the 50 days between Easter and Pentecost, we engage in practices that show the world that Resurrection matters in every day life. I’m leaving a list here, both adapted from my Lenten practices and some other ideas. I’d love it if anyone else out there has ideas, you’d share them and we can maybe change the world a little in the next 50 days.

Week 1

Sunday: Happy Easter!
Monday: Create a generosity jar
Tuesday:  It’s Earth Day! Do one green thing.
Wednesday: Donate to the charity of your choice
Thursday: Start with gratitude. Grab a pen and write a thank you note to someone. Thank someone who doesn’t usually get thanked: your bus driver, local postal worker, that one guy that always puts a fresh pot of coffee on or empties the dishwasher at the office
Friday: Pray for the families who lost loved ones on the ferry that sunk in Korea
Saturday: Clean out your closet and donate your items to charity

Week 2

Sunday: Pray for the Syrian refugee crisis
Monday: Treat people as equals – assume nothing about their lives, but to show them love and generosity and friendship regardless.
Tuesday: Pick up the phone and reconnect with someone you’ve not spoken to in a while
Wednesday: Connect with a neighbor
Thursday: Donate to the charity of your choice
Friday: Pay for the coffee of the person in line behind you.
Saturday: Make kits to give to homeless people (kits could include: list of local shelters, piece of fruit, clean socks, water bottle, grocery store gift card, etc.)

Week 3

Sunday: Pray for Ukraine
Monday: Make someone smile
Tuesday: Drive the speed limit
Wednesday: Donate to the charity of your choice
Thursday: Forgive someone
Friday: Give flowers to someone for no reason
Saturday: Get out of your comfort zone

Week 4

Sunday: Pray for your least favorite co-worker
Monday: Get passionate about your favorite charity
Tuesday: Unplug for the day
Wednesday: Donate to the charity of your choice
Thursday: Spend time silently listening to God. The amount of time is up to you.
Friday: Find an online petition that resonates with you and sign it
Saturday: Go local

Week 5

Sunday: Pray for our political leaders
Monday:  Donate classroom supplies to a local school
Tuesday: Talk to strangers
Wednesday: Donate to the charity of your choice
Thursday: Bring some extra lunch to work and share with someone
Friday: Take a walk and notice 5 things of beauty that are new to you
Saturday: Practice a form of guerrilla generosity

Week 6

Sunday: Pray for your least favorite family member
Monday: Intentionally wait in the longest line. Notice your reactions.
Tuesday: Practice really listening
Wednesday: Donate to the charity of your choice
Thursday: Leave a random note of encouragement for someone to find
Friday:  Pray for people and situations in today’s news
Saturday: Spend some time volunteering

Week 7

Sunday: Pray for your church community (if you have one)
Monday: Give someone an anonymous gift
Tuesday: Walk around your neighborhood and pray for your neighbors
Wednesday: Donate to the charity of your choice
Thursday: Do someone else’s chore
Friday: Take 5 minutes of silence at noon
Saturday: Worship at a synagogue or mosque

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