Every year, it’s the same.
I journey through the season of Lent, goading myself to feel the heaviness of our creaturely mortality, being, at least a bit, gloomy. Forty days is not an easy amount of time to do any one thing, particularly a thing that is not enjoyable.
Then the story picks up pace. Holy Week is coming and the preparation peaks. I’ve studied. I’ve written. I’ve emotionally placed myself in the observed events of the triumphant entry, the last supper, the betrayal, the trial, the execution, the burial. By the time we journey through these observed events together, my ability to be present and engage is hanging on by a thread.
Finally, Easter Sunday. A celebration of new life. Any reserves left in the tank are fair game and the topic at hand brings forth the final bits of adrenaline left in my body. It is a glorious and much needed…dare I say, deserved…time of rejoicing and relief. Truly, in the words of our crucified and resurrected Christ, it is finished!
That’s when it hits, the snowball that has been steadily gaining both mass and momentum. The culmination of weeks of labor has passed and there’s nothing that I can do to avoid it: the post-Easter letdown.
Guilt quickly follows it. I feel guilty that I am not dancing through fields of daisies as the implications of the resurrection demand…guilty that I am walking into a prayer meeting the week after Easter without a single thought, idea, hope to share…guilty that all I want to do is nap all day and watch movies all night.
And I have no real fix for this, at least not the moment I’m in. The high times of the Christian year should and will demand much of me as a steward of our congregation’s devotion.
But for this, I am thankful: the season of Eastertide.
I’m thankful that I don’t have to have it all together this week or last week or next week. I’m thankful that we are given the gift of fifty days to celebrate and observe the wondrous nature of the resurrection.
And I’m thankful for an understanding and compassionate congregation that picks up my slack without making a big deal about it.
What I’m learning in this time is that the lessons of the season are not always the obvious lessons. Surely, Christ has risen and that opens up a whole new world of possibility for us to live into.
But also, peeking ahead to Pentecost, the Spirit of that resurrected Christ is abiding and empowering, meeting me right where I am, wrapping me in comfort and peace, offering grace for my weary soul, and empowering me to get up, time and time again.
With this, I welcome myself (and you too) into the season of Eastertide. May we journey faithfully.
Peace to you,