When I was in ninth grade, I discovered that the "the little Polish church” by the bridge had a full-on, pull-out-all-the-stops, Easter-all-over-again celebration on Easter Monday.
At least that’s how I remember it. I went to their early morning Mass still in Latin and barely noticed the Polish I did not know. I just wanted to be able to proclaim all over again, He is alive! I wanted to run around telling anyone and anything that would listen. I soon discovered that when you tell butterflies, they reply, "We know, can you not hear it in our flutter?” The birds were singing the same news as it turned out, the buzzing bees, the stirring breeze. Shoots popped up from the ground so they could stand up and shout. Small, tender leaves uncurled because they were bursting with joy.
It happened that way. I know because I was there and that’s what I’ll remember the rest of my days.
I also remember a much younger self being taken to church on Easter by my Daddy. When at last they sang the great, "Jesus Christ is Risen Today,” I stood on the shiny wood pew and turned so I could see the upturned, joyous faces of grown-ups all around. Only that’s not what I saw. I saw solemn, blasé looks mouthing the music. Right there in my patent leather mary-janes and white anklets with the lace tops turned down, I wanted to shout it out, "Hey! He’s alive! Don’t you know?”
I live, we live, somewhere between the butterflies that know and the grown-ups who do not.
This Easter Monday morning, I am once again in that in-between space. Call it liminal which, of course, means, rife with possibility. He is alive! Millions of Christians with full heart and voice proclaimed that yesterday and I do believe that most of them meant it. Is anything different or changed by that today? Are we different or changed? Could anyone know that by looking at us?
My first email this morning came from a dear friend for whom this Lent was an anniversary. Lent a year ago marked a fresh beginning with God. She’s shared enthusiastic posts on every Lenten episode but this morning she commented with characteristic candor, "now that Easter is all over, I’m feeling this big let-down…what a bummer.”
I wrote back my shortest reply ever, "Easter is just beginning…”
I understand the longing. That ache is an invitation. Jesus is no more ready to leave us than we are to have him leave. One sentence for me, stands out from the Easter message I heard in church yesterday, "Resurrection gives us a future.” The first task is to ask the question, "Do I really believe this and if so, what difference does this make?” If coming back from the dead is not a game-changer, nothing is. We may not see that as evident in the world. That is not the question. The question is, is it evident in my life?
Answering this and all the questions that follow led to my creating WITNESSES TO RESURRECTION
. If you, like my friend and like me, want to stay longer, you are invited to join us in this online Easter retreat.
To see more or sign up, just click here
. If you just want to give me a wave and let me know you share the joy, contact me
with an email. If you want to sign up for the retreat but need a little assist for the $5 fee
, contact me and it’s an Easter gift.