Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Did Easter Change the Church?
Another Easter Sunday has come and gone. We all had big crowds, the day in East Texas was beautiful, and the world was absolutely changed and redeemed. Well... I don't think it is totally by chance that the Sunday after Easter is Doubting Thomas Sunday in the lectionary readings.
When we look at the story from John 20:19-31, we see remarkable similarities with our own lives. Jesus arose, presented himself to the ladies and to some of the disciples so what do they do? They hide, behind locked doors. Their fear overcomes their joy, and the truth is locked away in a room.
So what do we do after some absolutely glorious worship events? Well, traditionally the Sunday after Easter is known as Associate Pastor Sunday or Lay Leader Sunday or even "Low Sunday". The excitement of the risen Lord dies within a week.
Actually, the week after Easter should be the big week. We should all be so fired up about the gospel that we take that fire out into the world and start to change it, we should be evangelizing to the point where the crowd after Easter Sunday should be even larger than the crowd the previous week. But it's not-is it? We get so worn out by the excitement and passion of Holy Week that we take the next week off to rest, we retreat behind closed doors and Christ has to come chase us out.
Pastors are the worst. We are so worn out, but really what did we do? I preached three services, helped at another, assisted in a feeding that was truly miraculous and had a funeral. Full week. Does this mean I can ignore the excitement we helped create? Or does this give me the base to which I can really reach out to my congregation. If Jesus conquered death so that we can have faith, can't he also provide strength and energy to help us this week?
Sometimes we can be like our friend Thomas. We really doubt that is what it is really about. We want to believe, but we are tired.