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This week’s note from Rev. Bill

AFTER THE BUNNIES HAVE GONE…

 

               A friend of mine showed me his sermon for the Sunday AFTER Easter – the mess he found in his home that Monday and Tuesday. There were new (broken) toys in the hallway, fake grass strewn about the living room, chocolate on the doorknobs. 

 

               He realized that he himself was tired – trying to recover from all of the energy he had expended from Palm Sunday through Easter. Multiple services/Bible studies/home visits/decorating the sanctuary – it takes a lot out of you! 

 

               The time after Easter is often a time of regrouping, sometimes even depression after the pageantry of Palm Sunday/Holy Week/Resurrection Day. For churches in Florida, we usually have a marked decrease in attendance (and giving!) in those weeks following the big event. My church in Estero went from over 1200 to 250 in one week – with all of our northern residents heading back home!

 

               What do we do, after the bunnies have gone? Easter is a time of laughter, of celebration, of being in large crowds praising Jesus’ Name. What do we do when those crowds are no longer there? 

 

               My morning devotional on Tuesday included these lines – “Whereas the way of the world is to insist upon publicity, celebrity, popularity, and getting maximum exposure, God prefers to work in secret…In God’s sight the things that really matter seldom take place in public.” (Henri Nouwen, “Letters to Marc about Jesus”)

 

               That is a good reminder for me that, although I like the energy and wonder of Resurrection Sunday, the real growth is what’s going to be taking place in those weeks following. The scriptures say that Jesus spent 40 days with them, teaching and ministering to His disciples. That means that He spent daily life with them.

 

               I’m sure the first week wasn’t very effective – they were still probably so stunned and in awe of what had happened that they weren’t listening very closely! But as the days went by they were able to start learning again. They found that their favorite times with Jesus were with just sitting with Him by the sea, walking together along the road, breaking bread together at the table. 

 

               The resurrection was important, absolutely – but it was more than just a promise that they would someday overcome death. The power of the resurrection was that Jesus had dignified and redeemed their everyday life – He came to be one of us, to live and laugh and suffer as we do. That means that God cares about us, right here and now. 

 

               I pray you have a joyous Easter and that you have great times with family and friends. And I also pray that, when everyone else has gone home and you are cleaning chocolate bunny ears off of the doorknobs, that you have the assurance that Jesus is still with you.

 

  • Rev. Bill
 
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