Lent is over. Holy Week is behind us. Easter has passed. So what happens now?
I haven’t seen any Easter inflatables in the yards of my neighbors and the general consumerism of Easter seems to be exponentially reduced from Christmas, but for Christians, there is just as much preparation as we move towards Easter during the time of Lent as there is for Christmas during the time of Advent. But for those giving things up during Lent, what is the significance when the fast is broken, when we go back to the things that we did without for 40 days? What did we learn? How did we do without?
There are few things more gratifying to me than learning that something that I thought I “needed” was actually expendable and not nearly as necessary as I thought that it was. That’s what fasting can show us, that our dependence on things is more of a creation of our own minds than an actual need for us. It’s a lost practice that I have not done nearly as often as I should during weighty spiritual times but a practice that Jesus mentions within the Gospels.
It’s interesting to think of the grieving period that the disciples had after Jesus’ death. It didn’t last nearly as long as the typical period of grief as things changed dramatically on the third day. When Jesus ascended though, there had to be some additional emotions felt by the disciples, feelings of loss, albeit not the same kind of emotions that they experienced on Friday. Those emotions led them where? Eventually back to Jerusalem.
More recently, I have snickered at the fact that the disciples’ answer for what to do in the absence of Jesus was to have a meeting. It was in a meeting that they eventually received the Holy Spirit, and from there, everything changed. It became less about meeting and more about action. It became about going and doing and not simply sitting and learning.
So what difference does Easter make for us? How do Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday make us different? How do we live differently when all is said and done? Or do we live differently?
From Easter, I find hope in the resurrection. I find that grieving for those who know Christ is not as sharp as it would be had Easter never taken place. But I should also find confidence that what God said was true was really true. Am I living with confidence, not in my own abilities but in the truth of God?
Today is a new day, but as I look at it through the lens of Easter, it should look different. Like the blind man who was given sight to see a world of magnificence and beauty after facing darkness for so many years, our eyes should be open. Like one who had been looking at things in black and white or sepia toned lenses and who now sees in brilliant technicolor, the world should look different.
So, how does Easter change the way you see the world? What difference does it make to you?