Monday, March 28, 2016

Jesus is Alive and I'm Wide Awake!


I am disheartened by the number of clergy people and church staff members publically lamenting how tired they are on Monday morning after Easter.

Having said that, I realize it won’t be the most popular opinion among my peers. I mean no offense to anyone in particular. Don’t be a hater. Please let me explain …

First of all, everybody works hard. Everybody. Yes of course, we work hard during Holy Week and Easter. But we do not work harder than anyone else. And most people work harder ALL THE TIME, just to make ends meet. Our complaints about how sleepy we are on the Monday after Easter are belittling and disrespectful to people who do not have the privilege and luxury to take a day and a half off after a particularly rough few days of work.

Secondly, theologically speaking, if you are not energized into action by what happens on Easter morning, you did it wrong. I cannot WAIT to get up and get going on the Monday after Easter! There’s so much energy in resurrection, and I am totally charged up by it. “Christ is risen!” is more than just a liturgical greeting or a pithy internet meme, it is a profound spiritual truth that should inspire us to be someone brand new, especially on the Monday right after Easter.

Thirdly, what is it about us that creates the need to point out publicly how hard we’ve been working? What are we looking for from these public pronouncements? It is as if we need approval, someone to say, “Yes, I noticed you working. Good job.” Now to be sure, it is really, really nice when that actually happens. It’s always good to receive affirmation and gratitude. It’s very cool to know that someone heard you. But I guess I just do not understand the need to fish for it on social media.

And finally, if your congregation is typical, chances are you just worshiped with at least twice as many people as on a normal Sunday morning. You saw people you haven’t seen in weeks, you had guests there for the very first time, you had people there who really didn’t want to be, and on and on. It was packed out! Now, build from that momentum, keep it going! Don’t take a break at this point, bringing it all to a screeching halt. Take that energy created by all those people there to encounter the living God and go somewhere with it!

Yes, I know all about Sabbath rest and self-care and all that jazz. I had an hour long nap yesterday afternoon. What I’m talking about is using social media and other public venues to intentionally mention how tired we are on Monday, how sleepy Easter made us. No, no, no! Easter doesn’t put us to sleep – it wakes us up! Easter is the beginning of new life, new energy, new focus, new purpose.

Churches should view Easter Sunday as a launching pad, not an arrival point. The Church needs to get up with Peter and run to the risen Christ. Churches ought to blast off from Easter into a brand new season of mission and ministry We ought to stop telling everyone how tired we are, and start telling everybody how alive Jesus is!

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