Have you ever had that moment when a song you haven’t heard in eons, but love intensely, comes on the radio? All you can do is roll down the windows and crank up the sound, letting it wash over you, reveling in the memories it brings to your mind, overjoyed at this momentary pause of exuberance, voice singing out just as loudly as your speakers. I’m sure most of us have been there. I know I have, probably more often than I can really comprehend. There’s something powerful about sounds from our past, songs that remind us places we have been, people we were with, the person we were at a different point in time in our lives. Music, certain words, can be transporting, taking us back in time to places and memories we thought we had forgotten. There’s such a joy in these moments, when it is nothing but our voices and the wind and the music. It’s freeing and it’s relaxing and it’s powerful.
Easter is a lot like one of those roll-the-windows-down moments. It is the end of a long and trying six weeks in which we haven’t really sang with much joy, where it has been cold and stark, where there has been a striking absence of “alleluias” coming from our lips. Then suddenly, as if in a dream, there’s Easter morning, bright and shining and exuberant. The music is resounding and uplifting, the wind feels warmer, and the “alleluias” can do nothing but fall over and over again from our lips. Sometimes though, we let this Easter joy slip past us too quickly, just like we sometimes miss that song we love because we’re too busy jumping to the next station to properly listen. We let Easter run through our veins for a few passing moments and then it fades, and all that joy and excitement doesn’t fill us the way it should. We think so much about how we should sink into the Lenten season, how we should focus and pray and be penitent, but then when it’s over we don’t think about the fact that Easter requires just as much, if not more, attention and joy. Easter isn’t just a day or a few hours of the early morning, Easter is a season. Easter should be sunk into just as much as Lent. It should be shouted from the rooftops. We should be ready and willing to roll down our windows and shout “alleluias” for the whole world to hear, because what better news is there to proclaim than, “JESUS IS RISEN!”? Lent, and its darkness and weight, has disappeared, and light is shining down upon an empty tomb that brings with it the promise of resurrection and eternal life. Now that is something worth getting excited about! I know it happens every year, and the message is the same, but just think about it, that song you hear on the radio – you’ll probably hear it again, and will your joy be any less? No, it will be the same, filled with rolled-down-window joy. So why not treat Easter the same? Why not let Easter fill you to bursting with shouts of “alleluia” and “He is risen!”? Why not roll your windows down and feel the wind on your face, remembering the Holy Spirit moving throughout creation and bringing amazing joy into the world? Why not get excited about how amazing our God is, how powerful the promise of eternal life is, how wild the promise of resurrection is?
My hope and prayer for all of us this Easter season is that on Easter morning, when we first let “alleluia” ring out around our sanctuary, we feel at once at peace and full of joy. I pray that we let that word fill us, and the promises it represents nestle into our hearts and warm them with the light of Christ our Risen Lord. I pray that you go home and want to do nothing but roll down the windows of your car and shout, “ALLELUIA! HE IS RISEN!” And maybe, just maybe, someone will respond from their joy-filled hearts, “HE IS RISEN INDEED!”
Peace it Together,