I read so many words over the past week. Different thoughts and perspectives on the Holy Week. Deep and awesome things poured out on digital paper, compelling and truth filled, giving me something to chew on each day leading up to Sunday. It was a week to share in the suffering and pain of Christ.
I’m going to come right out and say though, that I seem to hold my breath during Holy Week, a tensing up similar to when you know a shot is coming and you just want it to be over. It’s a hard week and the hurt and sacrifice are essential to this epic story of love. But it is hard and painful and it hurts. No way around it. We press in and try to imagine and understand.
This is made harder because Sunday is coming and we know how the story ended! We have the privilege of reading the last page and know the way the hero saves the day, so to speak.
Easter comes and we celebrate and breath a huge collective relief filled sigh that FINALLY Lent and Holy Week are over and we get to go back to living in the light. The road to the cross, well it just seems like a long, long exercise in wintry melancholy.
I don’t mean to be disrespectful or irreverent. It’s just that life on earth as a Christ-living-in-me believer is based on the good news found at the end of the story.
So on Easter morning we set the alarm and gather at sunrise. We sing in choirs that have practiced for weeks. We invite strangers and friends to join us in the celebration. We gather around tables and love each other well. And it is hopeful and encouraging and regardless of what is weighing heavy in hearts, there is a message that speaks loud and deep. Christ was raised victorious over death. Hope, hope, hope!
All day Sunday I kept thinking about how I wish we could all just hang on to the truth of what we gather to celebrate on Easter. To permanently bind the joy of HE AROSE! upon our hearts and minds. Because it is the cornerstone of our faith, our hope for eternity and this is the very gospel.
Hello, though, why do I seem to so quickly lose the joy and rightness and truth of the resurrection? The beautiful truth of the Risen Savior fades into the background as quick as a chocolate bunny can give a sugar high.
The ugly reality is that I sometimes have trouble living the Easter resurrected, free life that comes to those who chose Him. In the rolling to a stop that happens in after the holiday and celebration of Easter, it is all too easy to want to tip toe backward into the gloom of the tomb. To want to curl up in the darkness and pull the cloak of death up to the chin and deny the life of light and life and love that was the reason for this miracle.
Why do we so soon walk back toward the lies of captivity?
Why would we want to live as slaves when freedom was bought for us and handed over to us the second Christ sprang us out of jail?
What makes our feet walk heavy under self-imposed chains of bondage?
And really? Who in the world wants to be in community with folks that are more like the walking dead than the living free?
We need to let the reality of Easter invade our hearts and thoughts the second our brains wake every morning of every day of our life. We need the resurrection power to propel us forward into the world, toward light and love.
The power of Christ’s rising is that it overcomes every single challenge, struggle and heartache that we might face on this earth. Because he faced the holiest of all weeks, we no longer have to be enslaved by ANYTHING of this world.
This story, the one that happened on Easter morning, is the one story that should radically change our own. It should transform us top to bottom and inside out. Every single day.
Can we be bold with each other? Can we together keep reminding each other of the resurrection? Wouldn’t that be the absolute definition of love ? HE LIVES! And because of that we can love with the wild and crazy grace that goes along with such an audacious miracle.
If you see me sneaking back into a place of darkness, for goodness sake haul my butt out.
Together let’s live as the redeemed. Together let’s live like we know the end of the story.