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From Our Hill

FOH April 25, 2014     Click here for full issue

           What a privilege it was to celebrate Easter Sunday with you this past weekend!  I found myself nourished and my faith enriched by Calvary’s opportunities to worship through the sacred season that culminated on Easter.  The day itself was beautiful.  I joined in the children’s egg hunt and got to add a flower or two to the living cross.  An overflowing congregation, 586 worshippers between our two Sunday services, was an inspiring sight.  I sensed a liveliness and joyful eagerness to hear and proclaim the good news of the empty tomb and the Risen Christ that will continue to be energizing.

     And that’s good.  Because, the energy the church often displays on Easter ought to be a new beginning that propels us ahead.  Frequently, however, there is a kind of holy exhaustion that comes with the conclusion of Lent and Holy Week on Easter Sunday.  Folks have rallied to get to church (lots of extra times in many cases).  Easter may have brought with it travel, out-of-town guests, big dinners, parties, extra expense and work to make it all a wonderful experience.  So, it is not surprising that the morning proclamation “Christ is risen!” sometimes gives way to an afternoon pleading, “Now, can we just take a nap.”  And that’s fine.  It really is.

     The challenge (and maybe even a danger) for many Christians and churches is that after Easter we just stay tired.  Calvary’s staff chuckled a little bit in staff meeting this week because, rather than slowing down, as we move into this time after Easter, things ramp up.  Retreats, camps, service projects, choir trips, Vacation Bible School – these are just a few of the things on the horizon.  But, it’s more than just full calendars ahead.  The theological and worship life of the church goes on, too.  Jesus’ story is still unfolding – always.  Christ’s ascension, Pentecost, and the long fruitful season that follows invite us to follow the sprint of Holy Week with a steady-paced walk with God.

     So, we give thanks for Easter.  And this year’s celebration was a particularly powerful one in my book.  But, we also hear God’s invitation to keep going, to respond to the good news that Christ is risen and move into the future that God has in store on the other side of that empty tomb.

Pastor Bryan Brooks