Easter Is Late This Year

By William A. Evertsberg

The world in which we live is the place where Jesus Christ rose from the dead.  —Karl Barth, 1941

Easter is a moveable feast.  Its date is determined by the lunar rather than the solar calendar, so it can fall across a remarkably expansive range of dates, from March 22 to April 25.  Those of us alive in the aughts and teens of the twenty-first century are fortunate enough to have witnessed almost the earliest and almost the latest Easters of them all.

In 2008, Easter fell on March 23, the second earliest.  We will not see this again.  The next time Easter will be that early is in 2228.

In 2011, Easter fell on April 24, the second latest.  The next time that will happen is in 2095; our children will see it again.

Easter falls relatively late in the calendar this year—the tenth latest of them all.  And it seems late in other than calendaric ways, doesn’t it?

This spring, rainfall has been prodigal and sunshine parsimonious; spring seems late.

In global events, resurrection and hope seem AWOL.   Those images of lifeless children and lightless eyes after sarin attacks in Idlib are heartbreaking.

So I am eager to celebrate this Sunday.  In many ways, it seems overdue.

Easter is a wonderful celebration.  It’s one of the few days of the year—besides the coronation of English monarchs and the Kentucky Derby—when women get permission to wear extravagant hats.  Little girls wear brand new shoes so shiny you can adjust your lipstick in them.  The daffodils stand up tall with immoderate bravado.  We gather around tables burdened with plenty to laugh with those we love the most.

But more important than all of that, in a beautiful but broken world, we gather at our most sacred place to sing those well-worn but beloved hymns, to tell the world that despite present appearances, the world in which we live is the place where Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

I hope you will join us.