Easter : What Now?
– The eggs have been successfully hunted down with precision and valor.
– The pastel dresses and nicely pressed suits have been hung/thrown back into the closet.
– The bunny ears are tucked away neatly to frighten small children again next year.
– The sugar highs have slowly turned into sugar crashes.
– The Easter lilies are… somewhere…
Today is referred to by many as “Bright Monday” or “Renewal Monday” – a time to focus specifically on celebrating the resurrection of Christ’s victory over violence, sin and death. Other cultures refer to today as “White Monday”, “Unlucky Black Monday”, “Splash Monday”, or “Eggroll” (I’m as surprised as you are).
Regardless of the title you give (or don’t give) today – it is still the day after Easter.
Like many holidays – the dreaded “day after” can be difficult to navigate. There is a strange wall that a lot of us hit after the songs have been sung, the brunch has been devoured, and we climb back into our ’97 Geo Metro to head to the office once more.
So what do we do with today? Where do we put the whirlwind of emotions and nostalgia? How do Easter People realistically live in a Good Friday world?
I think Easter Monday is a day to ask, “What now?”
It’s important for us to remember that Easter is not simply a nice and pleasant ending to the Gospel narrative, but rather, the inauguration of new life, in a new way. At the cross of Jesus Christ all the evil, wickedness, and violence converged at this one point; and that point was and is Jesus. Satan, sin, and death did their very worst to him – and he was able to exhaust its force!
THIS IS GOOD NEWS.
When Jesus declared from the cross, “It is finished!” – he didn’t simply mean, “This happened” – but rather, “this happened, is still happening, and is forever done.”
THIS IS GOOD NEWS INDEED.
So, for the Christ follower, Easter is not simply a day in history that we celebrate. It’s not even just a sumptuous celebration of the promise of an afterlife with Him.
It is the inauguration of new life, new creation, and new possibilities right here and now. We are no longer bound to a system of victory by force – because the “Alpha and Omega” is not simply the God behind us from which all things spring. He is also the God who has gone before us, who holds the possibilities of who He longs for us to become.
I would assert that, if your life is flat, empty, without exhilaration, without significance, without a single and fulfilling orientation, it is because you do not see the risen Christ, for who he really is. I would invite you to not think of Jesus as merely the door to an after-life heaven in a far-off place, but to think of him as the door to New Creation possibilities right here and now – a kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Easter means that nothing is impossible with God, that life triumphs over death. Love triumphs over hatred. Hope triumphs over despair. And that suffering does not have the last word.
So take heart, dear brothers and sisters – for we are Easter People living in a Good Friday world, but God is not done with us.
“On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but of the dawn.” ~ GK Chesterton