He is not here, but has risen. (Luke 24:6 NRSV)

I read once that in Russia, on Easter Sunday afternoon, the Orthodox priests used to have a very strange custom. They would get together in the sanctuary to tell jokes. They would spend the afternoon hours getting each other to enjoy belly laughs as they told stories, jokes, and tall tales. A similar custom has been preserved in some other areas in that part of the world. On the day after Easter, folk dancing and feasting take place in the churchyard.

Now, why in the world would people laugh and tell jokes and dance after Easter? It is because Easter is about happiness, isn't it? That is why we wear brightly colored clothes at Easter time. That is why we put flowers on the altar. That is why choirs sing such happy music. Jesus Christ was dead, but now he is alive. That is the greatest news in the world to Christians. For one thing, it means he is still with us living, in our hearts.

Let's keep the Easter spirit all year long.


Dear God, help me keep the Easter spirit! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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