FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — We all know about Easter Sunday (resurrection) and Good Friday (crucifixion). Some know about Maundy Thursday (Last Supper).
But do you know about Easter Monday, the day after Easter? Known as “Bright Monday” among the Eastern Orthodox, Easter Monday is regarded in the West as the second day of Eastertide, the 50 days from Easter to Pentecost, and in the East as the second day of Bright Week (or Renewal Week).
Easter Monday is observed by many all over the world. Different Christians observe it very differently. For some, it is a most solemn day of remembrance and holy worship. For others, it is a day to be marked by joy and even pranks. Every year, the White House Easter Egg Roll, a tradition dating back to 1878, takes place on Easter Monday.
For most Baptists, Easter Monday is unknown or means little. We attend Easter services, we remember and celebrate the resurrection, we go to bed on Easter Sunday night, and on Monday we resume our regularly scheduled programming. By Wednesday, most of us hardly remember the Easter into which we just put so much energy.
Do not hear me recommending that we begin Easter Monday observances that follow the traditions of the Catholic or Orthodox churches. Much of the traditions of those churches are not found in Scripture, a good bit could be considered unbiblical, and if nothing else, Baptists are those who seek to live by the Word of God and not beyond it.
Yet, a significant portion of the weakness of our churches today can be found in the relegation of Monday to that which is normal, to that which is sub-spiritual, even to that which we consider secular. Many I hear in the church speak of Monday as the first day of the week and of Sunday as the last day of the week. More and more I see calendars that place Monday as the first day.
This might be true for those whose true identity is found in their vocation. Everything begins for them anew when they go back to work, which often is seen as a chance for rest after a long, hard weekend. For those, redemption and hope is found in their jobs. Sunday has become the day of fatiguing self-indulgence that precedes the renewal found in service to a boss and to customers.
But for those of us whose identity is found in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, Sunday always will be the first day. Our renewal, our beginning, our rest is found in service to the Lord our God and to our neighbors.(1) Monday is our second day of the week. Our jobs are what we do out of the overflow of our love and worship of God and our celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
To know this and to live out our resurrection identity is to understand what God means when He says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”(2) All that we do flows from who we are. Who we are is found in the Jesus of the resurrection. For the Christian, the Scriptures know no separation of our life in Christ from any other part of our life — no separation of Easter Sunday from Easter Monday. Every day is in Christ.
We are in Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Peter 5:14)
We are redeemed in Christ. (Romans 3:24)
We are alive to God in Christ. (Romans 6:11)
We are sanctified in Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:2)
We have eternal life in Christ. (Romans 6:23)
We have no condemnation in Christ. (Romans 8:1)
We are inseparable from the love of God in Christ. (Romans 8:39)
We are one body in Christ. (Romans 12:5)
We are approved in Christ. (Romans 16:10)
We are wise in Christ. (1 Corinthians 4:10)
We have hope in Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:19)
We will sleep in Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
We shall be made alive in Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
We are led in triumph in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
We sit together in heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 2:6)
We receive the salvation that is in Christ. (2 Timothy 2:10)
We are new creations in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10)
We have liberty in Christ. (Galatians 2:4)
We are partakers of God’s promise in Christ. (Ephesians 3:6)
We have believed in Christ and have been justified by faith in Christ. (Galatians 2:16)
We are one in Christ. (Galatians 3:28)
We are blessed in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
We receive God’s kindness in Christ. (Ephesians 2:7)
We are forgiven by God in Christ. (Ephesians 4:32)
We are consoled in Christ. (Philippians 2:1)
We are family in Christ. (Colossians 1:2)
We find the will of God for us in Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
We live godly in Christ. (2 Timothy 3:12)
We are workers in Christ. (Romans 16:9)
Every good thing is in us in Christ. (Philemon 1:6)
So when the special services are over and the eggs are put away, when Easter Sunday fades into Easter Monday, remember that nothing has changed. Every moment of every day of every week of every year for you and for me is to be lived in Christ.
1 Matthew 22:37-40
2 Colossians 3:17