Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sustaining the Enthusiasm of Easter

For this entire season we begin the mass with "Alleluia! Christ is risen!" instead of the usual invocation of the Trinity, but how do we maintain the emotion and enthusiasm that the first proclamation during the Easter Vigil brought? During Lent we sacrificed our alleluias, remembering the trials and tribulations of Christ. It wasn't a joyous season but a holy and helpful one. 

Now that Lent is over, we can again proclaim "Alleluia!" with all the joy our hearts and voices can muster, but how do we realize the radicalness of what we're saying? Seriously, we're talking about how Jesus was raised on the third day after he had been nailed to a cross. His incarnation, life, death and resurrection all form the lynchpin of history; all of creation was waiting for that glorious moment when death itself would be conquered. 

And it get really, really easy to forget that. The minute I could eat chocolate cream eggs in celebration of the resurrection, I did. No waiting. It felt great to remember Christ's resurrection with each delicious, chocolatey bite. 

But now that the fast of Lent is fading in memory, it's harder to remember all that. It's harder to say Alleluia! with the same enthusiasm as before. For me it's like I've jumped straight into the season after Pentecost. 

So, Christian friends, how do you maintain your enthusiasm? Do you feel a kind of "Alleluia fade" that I do? And if you're not Christian, have you had experiences where something really beautiful, holy and important kind of feels, well, old hat? 


Alice said...

I would think that especially with the spring weather and all the baby animals about that a trip outside might help with the jubilation. It is on gorgeous days in April and May that I most often think "The world is great"

Country Parson said...

One way we do that is by focusing on the lessons of the Easter season. They start with resurrection appearances of Jesus that confront his followers' doubts and lead them into mature discipleship. They then gravitate toward lessons from Acts in which the disciples begin their work as evangelists while the gospel lessons rehearse the teachings of Jesus about what it is to be called by him into discipleship. It permits us to go deeper and deeper into the meaning of the resurrection for us and for the life of discipleship to which we also are called.