It's Easter evening. Surveys of preachers talk about the "post preaching" emotional dip. It's sort of like a "post partum depression" (on a small scale). You work and pray over the message...if things go well there is this moment when God shows up and faith spreads to some hearts that haven't been sure. Then, the service ends. The preachers feels a bit lost... wondering what to do with himself or herself.
Some pastors, according to the survey, just want to go off...be left alone. They go home and curl up with a book...take a nap...go for a walk. Others throw themselves into a frenzy of activity...out to lunch with friends...phone calls to visitors...the evening youth group gathering... doing a load of laundry. (Never been tempted to do that last thing...on a Sunday evening.)
It's Easter evening and I am not suffering from a post-preaching "dip." The services have been amazing...not because of our skill or brilliance but because God has this way of showing. Because the story of the Empty Tomb is true...and Jesus is loose.
The worship gatherings have been stunning...moments with the children. Energy and praise from our Praise Team. Music from our Chancel Choir and Handbell Choir and Orchestra that just took our breath away...eliciting a very unprofessional "Oh, my!" from the Lead Pastor at Trinity in the middle of worship. There was the moment when I handed newly baptized Aubrey Ann to a tough guy...expert in security systems...who wasn't sure what to do with a baby! And there was the little girl who, during the children's moment, said, "There were so many people here today that I didn't know where you were... but I looked down from the balcony and saw your bald head and knew where to go!"
So it has been good. All good. My Dad came over...Ella and her folks were here. Before Ella and her parents headed back to Columbus, Ohio she grabbed the index finger of my left hand and took me for a walk...over to see some daffodils...and then we circled the car before Mommy put her in the car seat. I've been watching The Masters and reading the New York Times.
All good. No dip. Just thanksgiving...tonight.
Luke 24 tells us that Simon Peter leaves the empty tomb not sure about what God is up to...but he is "wondering" if the empty tomb story is true. If Jesus is, in fact, alive.
Here is what I am hoping for: I am hoping that the news that Christ is Risen will stick with people. That it doesn't get tossed, after a few days, like the flowers in the centerpiece on the dining room table. That it doesn't set aside. I am hoping that this faith, this hope, Jesus brings sticks... and just keeps showing up in the lives of people. In rough moments and sweet moments. Big times and little times.
It's Easter evening. Tomorrow is Monday. And Jesus is on the road ahead of us...out there. I'm so glad...so very glad...and hopeful.