Easter worship is grounded in a foundational story. You can’t change the ending of this one even as we look for fresh ways to experience it in music, liturgy, preaching, and environmental design.
Comic wags have sometimes portrayed Easter as a pop-up, Jesus the religious ground hog.
Unlike February ground hog watchers, though, Jesus followers know he’ll show up. I just think that we become overly certain about where and when. While we celebrate the certainty of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday, we’re mistaken if we think his presence is confined to that hour of worship.
Easter is a jump start to the surprise of encountering Christ alive everyday in unexpected people and places.
British Broadcaster Christopher Trace made famous the phrase (often repeated by Monty Python) “and now for something completely different….” Trace was also known for saying, “Here’s one I made earlier.” Good Easter worship will include much of what we’ve made earlier, faith practices enduring across generations by God’s grace. And the best worship will help open us to something completely different that new generations will create, by God’s grace.
With Easter falling on April Fool’s day, there are many memes crossing the internet and a movement to play tricks like empty eggs on children during egg hunts. (Recommendation-don’t, Easter's not the time to model being mean). Easter has always been meant to invite us into joy, that's nothing new. This week John St UMC reminded its newsletter readers, Many American churches are resurrecting an old Easter custom begun by the early Greek Christians --- "Bright Sunday" or "Holy Humor Sunday" celebrations on the Sunday after Easter. For centuries in all Christian faith traditions, the week following Easter Sunday was observed by the faithful as "days of joy and laughter"
So be open to surprise this Easter.
Be delighted by a love so strong it would come back for you.
In God’s Grace, Karen
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved, said Saul of Tarshish after being transformed to Paul the Jesus follower on one surprising day. (1 Corinthians 1: 18). If Saul could be surprised by faith, why not me, why not you, why not anyone?