I think if I approached Easter the way I do Christmas there would be a lot less of that “let-down” feeling. Just being real here.
But Christmas has so much other stuff attached to it. I attempt very much to not let the commercial, fun parts overshadow the true meaning, but it is definitely a battle for one as sentimental and nostalgic and romantic as me to keep focus on the true meaning of our Christmas celebration. The lights and the gift giving and the cards and the parties and even the church services – all so beautiful and so grabbed on to by the entire world.
Because, whatever you believe in, Christmas sells. And the world is all about what sells.
Proof in point. Black Friday which has now become a week long event in itself.
Easter is Easter. We have the whole season of Lent leading up to it. We have much opportunity to purge, to reflect, to repent. There is somberness and there is devotion. All leading up to Easter morning.
And then church lobby is aburst with spring as little girls run around in a living flower garden of color. Men who are usually in polo shirts and jeans have suddenly rediscovered their suits and ties. Precious women don hats. And everyone is so happy and joy filled.
And with all this joy and all this bonus of six weeks of prayer and meditation and the setting aside of Holy Week going for us, on Monday morning, the heart is full and the spirit is strong and willing and my soul rises up and asks…..Now what?
Because we had an awesome Easter celebration in not one but two churches yesterday!
And we are pumped up about Jesus.
But the news headlines are as disturbing this morning as they were last week. And there are still bodies floating around in Korean waters while parents cry on the shore; and there are 77 little girls among hundreds of others unknown who are still unreturned in Nigeria; and there is an entire plane missing for 6 weeks now. And there is no peace or joy in so much of the world.
So this morning I was reading along as I continue through Luke and these words jump off the page in answer to the question. And then what?
Jesus is explaining about waiting and the Kingdom and He is sharing parables that have to do with masters and kings who go away for a long time leaving servants in charge. He is explaining about doing the work, keeping faith, pressing on in what needs to be done until the master or the king or the owner of the vineyard returns.
And in Chapter 21:34 -36 He says it quite plainly.
In the meantime, while you are waiting for Me. However long it takes. Take heed. Pay attention. It will be tempting to let your hearts become careless. It will be easy to slip into all kinds of non-productive behavior. This can range from excessive partying to excessive worrying. But the day of My return will come unexpectedly. For those who live on the face of the whole earth, it will come like a net dropping. So YOU, YOU who call yourselves by My Name – watch and pray. Look at what is going on and be prayerful about it. Pray that when all hell is breaking loose, that you will be found faithful.
In our faithfulness, we will do the work He has left for us to do.
In our faithfulness, we will continue to declare the Good News we celebrated yesterday.
In our faithfulness, we will watch and we will pray.
And that’s what we do next.