I remember being at a big Christian festival one easter years ago. For three days everyone milled around in their own separate worlds (as British people are prone to do, if we’re honest). Several thousand people avoiding and evading each other as if only the family unit or church group existed. Then on Easter Sunday morning everyone had a strange skip in their step, a smile on their face, a greeting for every passer by.
I know that Easter Sunday is an amazing day, but it did strike me as being a bit strange. How is it in your church? Is everyone super-sombre on Good Friday and then buzzing with joy on Easter Sunday morning? In one sense these emotions are appropriate, but isn’t the truth that emotions are massively mixed on both days?
Perhaps we should acknowledge the stirring of deep love and gratitude alongside the appropriate sombre feelings of Good Friday. Perhaps we should pause to remember why Christ had to rise from the dead, instead of simply celebrating as if Friday never happened.
The first followers had massively confused emotions on the first Easter Sunday. Fear mixed with delight and joy and sadness with celebration. Maybe some in our churches are wracked with guilt like Peter was that first Easter? Maybe some face uncertain futures as did the first disciples.
Easter is absolutely the emotional, as well as the event and truth core of Christianity. Let’s prayerfully consider the text’s we’re preaching and the people we are preaching to this weekend, so that we can somehow be sensitive to the mixture of emotions that blend into such a key weekend in the church calendar.