Easter Has Come! Why Are We Still So Busy?
I hear other pastors say all the time, ‘If I can just make it through Easter . . .’ I have said it myself. I suppose there is nothing inherently wrong with this idea. Truly the build up to Easter is always busy. There are extra worship services, maybe a cantata, Easter related programs, and then Easter Sunday, itself. We had three services on Easter Sunday. THREE!
And yet liturgically and theologically Easter Sunday is not the end of our work. It is not the end of the work of the church or the work of the people. In the gospels where Jesus makes a resurrection appearance, He gives instructions to the disciples for what they should do next. In Matthew, Jesus says, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey the commandments and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (my paraphrase). In Luke, he sends them to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth (again, my paraphrase). In John, he says, As the Father as sent me, so I send you. The resurrection is not the end of the story. If it were, there would be no church. Or said better, if the disciples had not gotten to work after the resurrection, there would be no church.
In the gospel reading for next Sunday (April 10, 2016) we have a miraculous fishing story. It begins with Peter saying he’s going fishing. Now I like to fish as much as anyone, but Peter is not talking about spending a day away, resting and hanging out with friends. What he means is that he is finished with his new identity in Christ. He no longer wants to do what Christ as commanded. He’s done, and he wants to go back to who he was before, a fisherman. The passage ends with Peter and the resurrected Jesus walking along the shore with Jesus saying, Peter do you love me? Three times he asks, and three times Peters answers affirmatively. Jesus responds with the commands to feed his lambs, tend his sheep, and feed his sheep.
Easter is not the end of our work. We are called to feed lambs, tend sheep, and feed sheep. We are called to love as we have been loved. We are called to be light in the darkness of our world. We are called to be the Word made flesh. Easter is only the beginning. Here, at Lakehills United Methodist Church, we have been busy. We have made great progress in the demolition of our currently fellowship hall. We have been teaching our children at Twigs about Easter and the resurrection. In our youth group, we have made flood buckets for UMCOR. We continue to worship and to serve in our community. We have no other purpose for being but to praise God and serve God by serving God’s people.