A Successful Easter!

packed churchTo all my friends who made Easter meaningful in our congregations yesterday,
thank you. All you preachers, liturgists, musicians, singers, teachers, ushers, lily arrangers, hot cross bun bakers, and plastic egg-fillers – bless you.  Now you can rest.  Sort of.

There was an excellent strand of comments on  RevGalBlogPals’ Facebook page over the weekend regarding the effort that goes into Holy Week. One of my colleagues had been disappointed that so few parishioners had come out on Maundy Thursday, especially considering the enormous effort that went  into that service.  The truth is that only a small fraction of our people consistently attend “special services” like Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.

Oh . . . but Easter.

We all expect packed pews on Easter Sunday.  We expect to dazzle and be dazzled.

If the masses are going to join us for worship at all, it’s going to be on Easter Sunday (second only to Christmas Eve and Mothers’ Day.)  I remember the stress of wanting to awe friends and strangers with the sheer gorgeousness of Easter morning.  I wanted every note, word, smell, and sight to inspire.  I remember the utter exhaustion on Easter afternoon.  But I also remember the feeling that Easter sometimes felt like a performance and that didn’t feel so great.

Was the hope that we would do our best because The Resurrected Jesus deserves our best?  Or were we hoping that our Easter guests and other rarely seen worshippers would be lured back next Sunday?

[I wonder if anybody’s ever studied the incidence of Easter visitors returning to the same sanctuary the Sunday after Easter.  If so, please share.]

What does “a successful Easter” look like?  The sermon uplifts?  The music soars?  The children smile?  The offering plates yield the financial secretary’s best hopes? The post-worship brunch is scrumptious?

What if we judged a successful Easter on different things?

The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. (Matthew 11:5)

Students in Garissa, KenyaChrist is risen!  Christ is risen indeed!  But there are others who long to see, walk, be clean, hear, rise up, and receive good news. What are our next steps?

Image of students in Garissa, Kenya.

Advertisements

3 responses to “A Successful Easter!

  1. Pingback: » A Successful Easter!

  2. I was an Easter visitor who went back the next week. But I’ve always been a little odd…. 😉

  3. Pingback: This Week’s Links « Timothy Siburg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s