The Morning After
Easter is over. It came and went after a long 40-plus-day build-up.
At my church, we celebrated our first Easter Sunday with people inside of our building in two years.
We'd been leading up to that day for a very long time, and it was electrifying to feel the energy in the room yesterday morning.
There was joy, laughter, food, and fellowship--all the things we'd missed over the last two years of uncertainty, virtual worship services, isolation, and angst. It felt good to feel good.
That was yesterday. This is the day after.
My usual post-Sunday episode of the blues hit extra hard yesterday afternoon and has continued through this morning. It's a common thing for pastors to feel after Sunday worship, not to worry.
A lot of us pastor types experience a letdown on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, so I'm not alone in this.
The letdown comes from expending so much energy and emotion, preaching, and interacting with church members and staff, followed by a space of quiet within which you start to feel just how tired it made you.
And, if you are like me, you start to go over in your head all the things you could have done better, regret the things you wished you hadn't said, or pine over the points you should have made.
So today I am identifying with the disciples, who on this day two thousand or so years ago, gathered together in a room, wondering what just happened the day before.
They knew they hadn't seen a ghost, but they also weren't sure what to think about what they were experiencing. I bet they felt wrung out and tired. The roller coaster of emotions they'd felt over everything that happened had to be disorienting.
In John's Gospel, they are all together trying to process everything, and not really knowing what to do with it when the Apostle Peter speaks up and says:
"I'm going fishing."
When all else failed him, Peter decided to do what made the most sense at the moment, and in this case, what made the most sense to him was to go out on a boat and do what he knew how to do.
Peter was carrying a lot of guilt with him, but then again they all were. They'd all abandoned Jesus, and one of them had betrayed him.
The fact that none of that seemed to matter to the resurrected Jesus probably didn't make those feelings go away and may have caused even more confusion in the minds of the disciples, to be fair.
But they had to do something, and so they went fishing.
And it was in the moment of doing what they knew to do---the next right thing if you will---that Jesus appeared to them, and made them breakfast.
It was also the moment when Peter was restored by Jesus and given a new purpose.
So on this day after Easter, don't be afraid of the letdown, just do the next right thing. Do what you know to do, and trust that in the doing you will discover something of the Risen Christ all around you.
May you discover a new purpose, and new life. May your regrets become rejoicing. And may you find resurrection has happened not just around you, but in you.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.