How do we carry the excitement of Easter forward? In many churches, including St. Endellion in Cornwall, UK, where I worshiped on April 28, the Sunday after Easter is Low Sunday. If Easter is the pinnacle of the liturgical year, the following week acknowledges the descent from the resurrection high back to real life. Does it have to be this way?
What is Easter?
Easter marks Christians. We are Easter people. No matter what happens, we believe that God is more powerful than anything we encounter, even death. Yet, after Easter, we go back to real life. We sink back into our old ways of thinking and behaving. On Easter, faith and enthusiasm pours out the doors of the church. After Easter, we face the temptation of setting our Jesus-excitement aside.
How can we capture what happens on Easter? We can be intentional. We can make our Lenten journey a repeating pattern. If we gave something up for the 40 days of Lent, then celebrated at Easter, we can do it again. We can practice mini-fasts of a few days or ours. The intentionality will remind us of the Easter journey. Resurrection did not come at once. There was a path to the glory of the empty tomb. Retracing those steps can capture some of the Easter joy.
We can also remain engaged and active. Easter is meaningful because we focus on God. Beyond being intentional, we act. We go to church. We sing. We pray. We live out our faith. When we are doing what God calls us to do, we have less of a tendency to slide back to the way we are. Low Sunday becomes something other people do. Instead, we flow from Easter forward and continue the celebration of transformation into a new being in Christ.
Keep going to church. Keep inviting others. Keep the Easter joy!