Scripture: Colossians 3.1, 17
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above,…And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Reflection: Waking up to Easter
By John Tillman
In Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright questions how we approach and celebrate Easter.
I regard it as absurd and unjustifiable that we should spend forty days keeping Lent, pondering what it means, preaching about self-denial, being at least a little gloomy, and then bringing it all to a peak with Holy Week, which in turn climaxes in Maundy Thursday and Good Friday…and then, after a rather odd Holy Saturday, we have a single day of celebration.
… Is it any wonder people find it hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus if we don’t throw our hats in the air? Is it any wonder we find it hard to live the resurrection if we don’t do it exuberantly in our liturgies? Is it any wonder the world doesn’t take much notice if Easter is celebrated as simply the one-day happy ending tacked on to forty days of fasting and gloom? It’s long overdue that we took a hard look at how we keep Easter in church, at home, in our personal lives, right through the system. And if it means rethinking some cherished habits, well, maybe it’s time to wake up.
“Waking up” to Easter may be a disruptor to our ordinary lives. If we are honest, we’d rather get on with the world now. We want to go back to eating whatever we surrendered to Lent. Go back to doing. Go back to achieving.
We want to go back to winning at life and move past all of this gloomy suffering and servanthood. We want to go back to Emmaus with Cleopas and his companion and back to business-as-usual fishing with Peter.
But the truth is that Easter is a season, not a day. Christ’s appearances, spread over 40 days after his resurrection were leading and preparing the disciples for Pentecost and the birth of the church.
As we move through the season of Easter, may we continue to “throw our hats in the air.”
May we find ourselves interrupted on the road to Emmaus by Christ, our unexpected guest. May we break bread with him and find our mind opened to the scriptures.
May our business-as-usual days of fishing be interrupted by unexpected advice as Christ’s voice calls from the distant shore. May we shed our business-as-usual attitude, abandoning our work to swim to shore.
Let us see what the risen Christ will say to us today.
Prayer: The Cry of the Church
Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again!
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Full prayer available online and in print.
Proverbs 20 (Listen – 3:19)
Colossians 3 (Listen – 3:09)