Thursday, April 2, 2009

Finding Easter

My journey of faith includes some memorable and then forgettable experiences regarding Easter or the holy season as I now like to refer to this commemorative season for believers. I’d like to forget that I participated in them; but that’s not to disparage their importance to some, only that having seen certain practices from the tender under belly of life as a pastor’s wife, I’d like to confess that for many years the Easter season was a drudgery.

I’ve led holiday events, for lack of a better word; I was in charge of pageants and oversaw the productions, especially for children. And I’ve got a bit of acting talent, so as soon as I had finished the Christmas production season, I was being roped into the perennial Easter cantata.

The rehearsals for a big church production began six months prior to the event. I’m not talking about those sweet little plays we put our children into with dishrags for a costume. I’ve directed musical productions with some high price tags including special effects that rivaled some of the community theaters going on at the same time. But there is a tension and pressure within the core of that type of event that began to dissatisfy me.

Personally, I was full of pride and arrogance over what we had done and then, worse, was left with all energy expended, useless to God and the work to which I was truly called. So Easter would pass and it would have been nothing for me but an exhaustive production that brought no fruit to the kingdom. I remember the tension of the altar call. The pastor would come forward and invite guests who had otherwise not shadowed the church doors all year long to come forward and accept Christ. We all sat in breathless expectation. Then Joe the Church Character would get up and break the spell and come and accept Christ—again.

But then we would quickly put aside the fact that our four and five months of work and financial output had not brought exactly what we had hoped it might. We would go down to the fellowship hall for the cast party where we swapped kudos and hugs. There is a certain amount of self worth that can be gained for a laity that is made star for a day. And we did bond and I loved that part of the experience. Unfortunately the stage, for some, is a heady experience. It’s like writers who get good reviews and then begin to believe our own fictions.

When Jessica died, I was emptied of baggage because I just couldn’t carry it all any more. I had to choose carefully what I carried. And I needed the power of resurrection in my hollowed out shell. I retreated and sought answers in solitude. There was not any person who claimed to have “power” who could lay hands on me and fix my paralysis. Only Christ has the power to heal and bring a soul back from the brink. In all of the histrionics that we had made of Easter, our dramas about miracles and children being raised from the dead, I will confess, that while some of what we did elevated interest in the Easter story, our high priced pageants still could not match the power that Resurrection Sunday represents.

So I now seek resurrection power at the power source found only in the person of Christ. I will admit that he is still a great mystery. But that is why I have his Word to shine light on my dark soul and illuminate the story that makes every day Easter in my heart.

I thank you for allowing me this moment of musing. Bloggers leaving feedback each day will have your name entered in The Big Straw Hat for book gives this Saturday. For today's blog post, I will give away a book too, this week, a reader’s pick from whatever I have in my stock. Thanks for stopping by Words to Go.