Yesterday was not my Easter. My husband tells me that’s offensive to say. Or at least it might be offensive to some. Honestly, who can keep track of what is offensive and not offensive these days? I am always up for learning something new and assume others are as well. Learning something new should not be a reason for offense, right? Meh, whatever. It’s true. It was not my Easter.
But, for more years than not, Western Easter WAS INDEED my Easter. And the truth is, I don’t so much get caught up in exact dates. I’m all about the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law. If we want to get down to the nitty gritty, Jesus probably wasn’t really born on December 25 either. And it’s okay. The point is to celebrate His coming and His resurrection.
Personally, I’m in the middle of Lent. Lent wasn’t something I particularly paid attention to as a Protestant. I knew about it. After all, nearly everyone I knew was Catholic, and it’s hard to miss those forehead smudges on Ash Wednesday.
But we sort of bumbled along until the week before Easter. Then we had Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and a sunrise service on Easter. That’s it. The preparation for us was really only about a week. There was no fasting. No deep dive into what the Resurrection really meant to us. Just a robust singing of “Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph over his foes. He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with the saints to reign! He arose. He AROSE! Hallelujah, CHRIST AROSE” on Easter Sunday and then life went back to normal with 37 verses of “Just as I am” for altar call.
The three kids at home and I went to church with my husband for Easter. It’s a church we’ve been connected to for eleven years now. We were with them before they had a permanent location. My husband helped them gut the nightclub they ultimately purchased and made their permanent home. The names of loved ones we hope one day know Jesus are literally written on the studs in this church. I chose the song they used for their fundraising to buy the nightclub. In short, we’ve got some history with these folks. They love Jesus. They love us. And we love them.
Sometimes in the middle of Orthodox Lent it can feel endless. We are focused in on the path Jesus walked. The heaviness. The betrayals. The hurt. The loneliness. The depth of our own personal depravity.
Yesterday’s service wrecked me in all the right ways. I’m in the season of looking deeply at my contribution to the weight of what Jesus bore on that cross. Of recognizing just how many ways I fall short. Of the knowledge that there is not any way to ever be “good enough.” (And thanking God that I don’t have to be!)
Then I went to Relevant and there was joy and happiness and celebration. At first, I felt uncomfortable, because that is not where I am on the journey. But then I just allowed God to speak to my heart, because this is where He has me for a season. And I heard “Sunday’s coming.”
Paul preached on the tendency we have to get “stuck on Saturday” in our life. The place where there is a lack of hope. Where there is no foreseeable end in sight. We hate our job. We don’t like where our marriage is. We are struggling in parenting. Societal situations have us depressed. All the news is bad. Fill in the blank. Whatever it is, it feels like we are just surviving.
But Sunday is coming.
And for me, in the middle of my Lent, that had meaning anew.
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