Each year I try to tell myself that it’s just another Sunday, but the truth is I prepare for Easter differently than other Sundays. One person I was talking with about these preparations said, “Of course it’s different… it’s your Super Bowl.” I guess if you consider the number of expectations and the expectations that we as a church and I as a pastor place on ourselves…Easter is something more than just another Sunday.
Higher expectations for special days like Easter are not an altogether bad thing. Speaking for myself, days with different, sometimes higher expectations, often bring out a depth of experience I am otherwise unprepared to experience. Perhaps the same can be said for our church and our worship on Easter.
All the flowers and the visuals can bring out the importance of beauty in our sanctuary and also within ourselves. And I’m not talking about putting on our best clothes; it’s experiencing that the beauty that surrounds us is also always within us.
The music, which will be glorious, can also help us to reach down and experience that deeper measure of awe and wonder that so often eludes us. You don’t have to be one who comes up to sing the Hallelujah Chorus with the choir to experience those few minutes when we are all taken to a different glorious place.
And then there is the gospel of John and Mary… the loneliness of the early morning…the confusion, the rage… the mystery of the stone at his tomb having moved…the thrill of his presence. In a cemetery, a graveyard, at the tomb, Mary experiences life… love… acceptance.
If you want to know what I really believe, I believe Easter is a day we all desire… we all have the expectation of experiencing what Mary experienced on that first Easter day. We expect to know the fullness of life, the depth of love, the reality of divine acceptance…. as Mary says … we expect to “see the Lord.” On Easter we expect to see Jesus, to believe, to find our place in God’s story.
That is a pretty tall order for any pastor or church on any day. Thankfully it’s not up to us. The flowers, the music, all the people, all help and then in the miracle which is our faith…there will arise a glimmer like the light of the earliest dawn to some of us, to others a light as bright and full as the clearest morning. CHRIST IS RISEN! is how we will put it into words. Believing that those words come from a deeper place within us and that all that is behind and underneath them, changes everything… transforms every day of our lives and is what it means to find our place in God’s story.
Keep the Faith,