I love Easter. Even as I am dragged through the ringer of a 40 day marathon Lent, culminating in the intensity of Holy Week, I still love Easter: the joy, the expectation; the crowds in church; the energy. I love standing at the door after worship on Easter Day as people exit full of smiles and joy. The energy is palpable.
But, like Christmas, it is over way too quickly. The exuberance of Easter and Christmas Eve is followed by the dreaded “low Sunday”. We put so much work, so much hype into the destination that when we get there we’re all exhausted and have no desire, let alone the get-up-and-go the revel in the very thing we were journeying towards.
I say this because Easter is not just a day. Easter is a season. And in reality the sombreness of Lent should be followed by a fifty day celebration of Easter, of the glorious resurrection of Christ. That’s right Easter should be a party, topped off by another party as we celebrate the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost. And to take it a step further we are an Easter people, a resurrection community. The resurrection ought to be an ever present reality lived out in our midst and in the community around us.
With that in mind I have a challenge for you. In the coming weeks, as we read the various resurrection stories, I want you to think of your own resurrection stories. Perhaps you journeyed with a love one through a terminal sickness. Their courage and faith in the face of death is testimony to the power of the resurrection. Or maybe you or someone you love has battled depression or travelled the dark way of addiction. It seemed that despair would have the last word, but in the end Easter hope broke through. Think of your stories of life triumphing death, of good overcoming evil, of light overcoming darkness, of love over hate. Think of forgiveness, given and received, that speaks to the new life of Easter.
Then I want you to share those stories. Share them with your friends at St. Mark’s. Share them with your priest or pastor. Share them in your pews. Share them in the kitchen, the parish hall, the parking lot. Then I want you to share them with your family and friends. Tell of the wonderful news that God is with us, that Jesus is alive and that the resurrection is happening right now, in us. As you do, every story will bear witness to the truth that “Alleluia, Christ is Risen!” Who knows, your story may spark something in someone causing them to respond, “The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!”