Do you feel let down after Easter?
I still remember the childhood feelings of deflation the day after Christmas. After all that anticipation, waiting, and excitement—after all the presents were unwrapped and played with—the day after Christmas is sort of a let-down. Sometimes I feel that way a bit about Easter. In our Episcopal church, the weeks leading up to Easter—Lent and Holy Week—are ones of preparation, reflection, remembrance, and great anticipation. It is a time to look back on the time Christ spent here on earth, on His suffering and death, and then his glorious resurrection. The Holy Week traditions, in particular, take us down into the depths of those dark days leading up to the crucifixion and have us identify with the followers of Jesus who not only lost a friend but also lost the hope of a future they had envisioned for the coming of God’s kingdom. In our annual pilgrimage through Lent and Holy Week, Easter suddenly bursts on the scene in a blaze of celebration, colorful vestments and hangings, fresh flowers, and happy hymns. And then…well, then it’s over.
It’s easy to get stuck in Holy Week
The notion of getting stuck in Holy Week was inspired by Richelle Thompson’s devotional in Forward Day by Day this week. She reminded readers of how easy it is to do just as Jesus’s followers did after his death: succumb to the darker elements in our lives: fear, sadness, and loss. Just as they locked themselves into a room, we lock ourselves in a thick layer of bravado or toughness or even ennui…We forget to be open, to be disciples, to be missionaries—to be conduits for God’s love.
We are people of the Resurrection!
Ms. Thompson stirred my heart with these words, “But my friends, we are people of the resurrection. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. Who are we to live without hope of the unexpected, denying the prospect of the unbelievable?” She reminded us to identify with Mary, who came weeping to the tomb, only to find it empty. Suddenly, and only when He calls her name, she recognizes her Lord and Savior. At His bidding, she runs to tell the others the good news, “I have seen the Lord!”
So Easter is not an end, but a beginning, and its joy and celebration can infuse and energize our pilgrim walk. Like Mary, we, too, are called to bear witness to the working of God in our lives. We do this by listening for His voice, by being open to the incredible possibilities that His love can work in our lives, and by running to tell others, “I, too, have seen the Lord, and he has done marvelous things!”