Tuesday, April 03, 2018

The Sunday After Easter

Easter is over!  What a relief. For those of us in the church business Easter is one of the busiest times of the year. There are Easter egg hunts, passion plays, holy week services, extra weekend services.  It can wear out even the most devout ministers.  Don’t get me wrong – we love all the planning and revel in the full houses we get to preach to on Easter Sunday but come Monday we all breathe a sigh of relief.  We made it through another Easter season.

We’re glad Easter is over. 
Yet, at the same time, we’re sad Easter is over. The Sunday after Easter may be one of the most depressing for ministers. The additional seats are no longer needed.  The gaps in our sanctuaries and worship centers return. We welcomed back some church members on Easter Sunday whom we hadn’t seen in weeks, maybe even months, maybe even since last Easter. And then the Sunday after Easter we look around for them and they’re not there. We’re glad they were here last week and will welcome them back next year with open arms.  But it is sad.  It’s sad that Easter is over. 
I know it’s just a fact of life for us ministers.  We were told to expect such through our training.  We even have become accustomed to it to some degree.  No minister in their right mind expects the same crowds on the Sunday after Easter. It’s a reality of the trade, so to speak.
If you’re one of those who show up for Easter and rarely come any other Sunday, I hope you don’t think I’m mad at you.  I’m really not.  Don’t think that I’m trying to make you feel guilty. That’s not my intent.  I do want you to know that you’re missed.
We loved seeing you Sunday, but we’d love to see you more often.  And it really isn’t all about having full churches.  I admit, we struggle with our egos and having larger crowds feeds that egotism that I suppose every preacher struggles with. But we really do miss you.  We want to see you every Sunday.
Certainly, we ministers are part of the problem.  Maybe we make so much of Easter that somehow we’ve communicated that the other 51 Sundays are not as important.  Maybe you wonder why we haven’t called, emailed, or texted you all those Sundays you’ve missed. Perhaps we’ve said something or have done something that has upset you. We’re sorry. We hope that our weaknesses don’t keep you away. Please forgive us. 
This Sunday may not be as exciting as Easter, but we’ll be here nonetheless.  We’ll have another sermon that we’ve worked hard on.  Our worship may not have as many “bells and whistles” this Sunday, but is God really looking for “bells and whistles”? I don’t think so. I hope that’s not why you came last Sunday.  
The Sunday after Easter is back to business as usual, but we believe it’s an important business.  This resurrection we spoke of Sunday is something to be celebrated every week. We believe that the real power of the resurrection is truly experienced when church is a habit and not just a holiday.  So, we invite you back – again and again.
We minsters will be back at it this Sunday and every Sunday of the year.  We love what we do. So, come to church the Sunday after Easter.  We’ll be looking for you!