In his newest book, The Living God and the Fullness of Life, Moltmann contends that all the Christian festivals (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost) exemplify Christianity as a religion of joy. This was also a theme in Moltmann’s conversation with Miroslav Volf in 2014, and in his essay over on the Yale Theology of Joy website (sidebar: this same essay appears to also be included in the new book, Joy and Human Flourishing – check it out!). Anyway, I’ve already shared Moltmann’s comments about Christmas from this text, and will try to get a post out about Pentecost at the appropriate time. Today I would like to share this short text about what Easter means for Christianity as a religion of joy. Enjoy!
Easter is the central feast day of Eastern Christianity. Christ’s resurrection and the appearance in him of eternal life on this earth are the inexhaustible reason for the Easter jubilation. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Following the canon of John of Damascus, the church sings:
Everything brims over with light, Heaven and earth, and the world below the earth. All creation celebrates with joy Christ’s rising For now creation is assured. The West also knows that the resurrection is not only a human event, but a cosmic one as well:
Earth with joy confesses, clothing her for spring. All good gifts restored with her returning king. Bloom in every meadow, leaves on every bough, speak his sorrows ended, hail his triumph now.
Following the Old Testament pattern, Easter joy is the earth’s joy, too. That is why Easter is celebrated in the spring in the northern hemisphere, as the springtime of the new eternal creation.
– The Living God and the Fullness of Life, Kindle Location 1253
Thanks to Westminster John Knox Press for providing me with a free digital copy of this book.