Easter is Hard

Easter, much like Christmas, is a unique time of year full of a lot of different emotions. We are celebrating the resurrection of Christ, and being saved from sin. We are spending time together with family, eating good food, and enjoying the return of warmer weather. It can also be really hard. It is a time where we are reminded of what we have lost, those who aren’t present with us, and how sometimes we just don’t feel like celebrating. Last week in my sermon I looked at our readings from Act and Luke and took solace in pointing out that the disciples also had a range of responses to the Easter moment. We see these reactions in the story of Thomas, and the Disciples before the religious elite for the third time.   

I think Thomas gets treated unfairly. He makes one mistake and for the rest of history he is used as an example of doubting and a lesson on how we shouldn’t do that. I think his doubting makes sense though. He is in a state of grief. He has lost his leader, lost the body of his leader, and in that loss had a change in his own identity. With his Rabbi Jesus dead what does his identity as follower of Jesus really mean? It is in this grief that he is confronted with an abundance of joy, and shuts down. In our own lives we sometimes do the same thing don’t we? We are confronted with such conflicting emotions that we have trouble believing in what is going on around us. So if you are experiencing some level of emotional dissonance this Easter season know that you are in good company with a member of Jesus’ own inner circle.

On the other end of the emotional spectrum you have the over abundant joy of Peter and some of the other disciples. They are so jazzed so exhilarated by the resurrection and all it means for them and everyone else that they can’t stop talking about it. They talk about it so much that they get arrested and almost killed three times. They get thrown in prison and God breaks them out so that they can keep preaching the good news. We sometimes have this reaction to the Easter message too right? We get excited about the good news God has for us and God breaks us out of our cubicle cells and gives us the energy to go out into the world and do God’s work with our own hands.

I hope you see a little bit of yourself in the disciple’s reaction to the good news. Whether it be over the moon happy, or grief stricken and doubting. Either way I hope you rest easy in the fact that God will come to you know matter what. If you are feeling like Thomas then God will come and say “peace be with you”, but if you are more like the other disciples, God will destroy any obstacle in your way so that you can keep going with abundant joy.