The Importance of Holy Week, Easter
On Good Friday morning, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was interviewed on KDKA Newsradio 1020 by host John Shumway, who asked what was the most important time of the year for Christians – Christmas or Easter.
Referring to Ecclesiastes 7:8, which says the finish is better than the beginning, the Bishop said Easter time is most important. “It marks the finish of the work of salvation in Jesus Christ,” she explained. “The most important day is Good Friday because Jesus finished the work God set before him. He said, ‘It is finished.’”
On Easter morning at sunrise in many areas of Western PA, United Methodists celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. One service, at Richland Cemetery in Johnstown, brought pastors and people from several churches together to resurrect a tradition in the area. The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat featured it in Monday's newspaper.
Easter for Christians is not just one day, but rather a 50-day period. 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).
Easter is also more than just an extended celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. In the early church, Lent was a season for new converts to learn about the faith and prepare for baptism on Easter Sunday. The initial purpose of the 50-day Easter season was to continue the faith formation of new Christians.
Today, this extended season gives us time to rejoice and experience what it means when we say Christ is risen. It’s the season when we remember our baptisms and how through this sacrament we are, according to the liturgy, “incorporated into Christ’s mighty acts of salvation.” As “Easter people,” we also celebrate and ponder the birth of the Church and gifts of the Spirit (Pentecost), and how we are to live as faithful disciples of Christ.
This video reflection on the Resurrection includes joyful photos of United Methodists around the world, set to an upbeat rendition of the song “Marching in the Light of God” performed by the Africa University Choir. It was produced by United Methodist Communications.