WOW! What a GREAT day we experienced yesterday – while Good Friday may be the best day of the year because it is the day Christ reconciled all to the Creator through his sacrifice on the cross, there’s no more day full of joy than the day we journey to the empty tomb! From the brass to the band to the music to the children to the beautiful flowered cross out front to the absolutely beautiful visuals in our chancel area…we hope and pray that ALL who gathered were blessed by the presence of the risen Lord as we celebrated the reality that HE IS RISEN!
And yet…and yet…there’s always a part of the Easter Sunday journey that we can so easily lose if we are not careful. One of the things I love about the day after Easter, when our offices are closed to give a rest to the men and women who helped give us such a great Holy Week experience is what I refer to as ‘The Easter Echoes.’ The echoes I hear this morning in our sanctuary and even here in our office building are very loud – if I close my eyes I can still hear the absolute unbridled joy of yesterday’s festivities!
If we were so high yesterday because of the traditions and celebration of the day, not just in worship but in seeing the children and so many others in their Easter finest, to generations of families gathering together for worship and then an afternoon of love and communion that comes from spending time with those whom you love, and the very common special meals (either in-house or at a restaurant) that often mark the day…we can wake up this morning with a very natural reaction – getting back to the routine of life so quickly that yesterday and the reality of yesterday can easily fade into a sentimental glow that simply dissipates the further and further we get into today and the rest of this week.
However, it was not only those within Christianity who were celebrating Opening Day. Between the events of Holy Week and the Final Four, many may have missed that last night was the opening night of the baseball season. I think sometimes we miss the correlation between Lent and Spring Training, where actually we might have a lot to learn from the boys of summer.
Think about it…from the middle of February to the end of March, they come back together after some time away to focus again on the fundamentals, all culminating in the hope and promise that THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT! There’s always some new faces coming into play that must be assimilated, along with the recognition that each player is in a different place than they were last year.
We spent the last forty days in a period of prayerful introspection, observing a Holy Lent. We spent those days in a time of sacrificial love and discipline so as to set aside those things that keep us from reveling in God’s glory, grace, and love all the days of our life.
Opening Day in baseball is very similar to Easter Sunday in that it is a great day of celebration, pageantry, and optimism. Reflecting upon all these things, we must be careful to not get so caught up in the pageantry and joy of one individual day that we forget all that we learned about ourselves in ‘spring training.’
HE IS RISEN! Notice it’s not expressed in the past tense but the current tense. This is no mistake. May we all live in such a way that Easter is not an historical, one-off event but a current reality expressed in all our thoughts, words, and deed.