The Great 50 Days
Protestants observe the 40 days of Lent. But we don’t seem to be good at observing the next seven weeks of the Easter season. We pull out all the stops in worship on Easter Sunday, but then we seem to immediately go back to business as usual. Easter Sunday has become the joyful end to the solemn weeks of Lent, rather than the beginning of the season of Eastertide. But Easter is not just one day, but rather a 50-day period.
Luke and John provide extra detail about what Jesus did during the time between his resurrection and his ascent into heaven. We are told that Jesus appeared eight times, in human form, to various sets of people before the birth of the New Testament church occurred at Pentecost.
The season of Easter, or Eastertide, begins at sunset on the eve of Easter and ends on Pentecost, the day we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church (see Acts 2).
For the next seven Sundays following Easter – during Eastertide culminating in Pentecost Sunday on June 4--- ROH will attempt to reclaim the focus of the early church—by preaching on the lessons to be learned from Jesus’ eight appearances after his resurrection and before his ascension into heaven.