Jopeng (a lay missionary brother from The Servants of the Word) and I groaned (simultaneously, albeit separately) when John said that now that it's Easter, it doesn't mean that lent is over--the discipline of lent is still there but it's coupled with the joy of Easter.
Lent. isn't. over. ?! Huh?
Trust someone like John Yocum, an Elder from The Servants of the Word with a Ph.D in Theology and with faculty stints in Oxford and currently at Loyola School of Theology, to put Easter in its proper perspective with his usual really softly spoken erudition. (He did say it with a smile on his face, so we weren't really sure if he was kidding, at first; later, of course, we knew he wasn't kidding.)
But no matter my reaction to John's earlier statement, it was something that was thought-provoking, insightful and life-giving--and it was something that was, ultimately, so simple you start to ask yourself why you never thought of it in the first place.
Just because it is Easter already doesn't mean that we go back to our old wordly ways; that would negate everything about Easter! That, in a very poorly-worded sentence, is what John meant (I think) by lent continuing despite Easter. It wouldn't be Easter if we all went back to our old lives--pre-lent; it wouldn't be Easter if we all started doing everything we were doing before lent came in. Easter is the season of new-ness yet that new-ness would be absolutely meaningless if we went back to our old ways. And that, in John 's exhortation, is precisely why we celebrate Easter because the old man has died and the new man has been born.
So, after collecting my jaw off the floor, I rejoiced!
Happy 2nd day* of Easter!
* John quipped that if we found lent brutal because of its length (bad pun mine, not his)--40 days--then Easter should be much more interesting because it is 10 days longer--there are 50 days of the Easter season before Pentecost; so that means there are 50 days of rejoicing without letting go of the discipline of lent.