Jesus Is Risen, Now What?
As I write this, it is the Monday after Easter. I've drunk about four cups of coffee, and none of them seem to have taken. I'm groggy, tired, wrung out and generally feeling kind of less than my best.
I am having to resist the urge to go somewhere and eat pancakes... lots of pancakes.
For those of us who serve as pastors or church staffers, the Monday after Easter is a tough day. All of the effort, planning and the energy that was spent preparing and then facilitating Easter worship services ends abruptly and then you start realizing how tired you are.
I got to thinking today about Jesus' disciples and how they must have felt on the Monday after Easter. I imagine that they were all pretty stunned and exhausted from all that happened that weekend.
The Gospel accounts don't really give us a timeline to the post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus to his followers. But I think that the Monday after Easter was a day when the disciples sat around groggy, tired, wrung out and wondering what to do next.
I'm probably thinking about all of this because I'm about to preach a new sermon series where one of the driving questions is simply this: "Jesus is risen, now what?" What do we do after Easter? How do we live into the hope of the Resurrection?
I think it begins when we first desire to live differently than before.
It's when we make the decision that all of the feels we felt when we gathered together with other people to worship and praise on Easter Sunday is something that we want to keep going.
It's when we choose to move forward from the grief or bitterness or anger that has kept us paralyzed and unable to take a step into the future.
It's when we finally realize that God is at work all around us and that there are so many things that we can choose to join God doing in order to embody the kingdom of God right here and now.
Author Joan Chittister puts it like this:
The very impulse to choose the best over the comfortable or the secure is a sign that the resurrection has begun in us.May you find the energy and courage to choose the best over the comfortable today and every day. May you discover the risen Christ in countless moments and in all of Creation. May you begin to live a Resurrection life, full of hope and immeasurable joy.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.