Here we are in that limbo of holidays. Last night was Good Friday, and we wore black to church. We heard the crucifixion story again and we mourned. Tomorrow will be Easter and we’ll rejoice with the greatest news ever. Today, eh. We should still be in Good Friday mode, I suppose, but that’s not the way it works in our real lives, is it? We dye eggs. Or, in my case, devil them. We iron our Easter outfits. We watch basketball. (Go Bucks) Some years we’ve gone to church for Easter Vigil, Baby Bird was baptized three years ago at that service. But it’s so poorly attended, I don’t think our church is even holding that service this year. So, as Daddy Bird is a “recovering Catholic” we call it Holy Saturday, but we don’t observe much. Or maybe we do.
Most of what we do today will be in preparation of Easter. I will iron everyone’s outfit for tomorrow. I will pick up Middle Bird’s pants at the cleaners where they were hemmed. I will make deviled eggs, and cheesy potato casserole, and banana pudding. I will run to the store for a few more treats for the baskets. I will make everyone bathe, even if they took a bath last night. I will call Mom and make sure there’s nothing else I’m supposed to bring tomorrow for the big family gathering.
We have an advantage that the disciples did not have. Jesus told them what would happen, but nothing in their experience had prepared them to really believe it. We have celebrated Easter for our whole lives, most of us, or at least heard the story. We KNOW without a shadow of a doubt, that on the third day after that dark, morbid, almost spooky Good Friday service, there will be a lily laden, bright and cheerful, trumpet and bell filled Easter morning service. While there are almost never many children in church on Friday evening, except a few unnerved and unsettled and spooked into being quiet for the relatively short service, on Easter morning, the church will be filled with skipping, giggling, pastel clad kids. We joke about the Easter and Christmas Christians, but it’s not that so many only come those two times, it’s that even the ones who are not there three out of four Sundays come on Easter morning! Families who had soccer schedules to work around, or jobs, or heavy schoolwork loads, they’re all there in Easter morning! And we KNOW we’ll see that tomorrow.
We can manage some morbidity and solemness on Good Friday for an hour or so. We can pray and contemplate our part in the story of the crucifixion. We can attempt to imagine the fear and mortification of the followers of Jesus, but only for a little while. We can never really forget that the story has the happiest of endings. We know how it turns out. We can only sustain that level of solemnity for a short while before we remember that it’s okay, it all turns out well, there’s a happy ending!
Today we will continue to refrain from shouts of Alleluia. But tomorrow? Tomorrow I will wake each of my children with a cheerful, “Good Morning! He is RISEN!” And they will respond with “He is RISEN, indeed! Alleluia!” Well, the little one will probably need prompted, but the big ones will remember! And we’ll spend the morning with our fellow believers greeting each other that way. We’ll sing the Hallelujah Chorus. We’ll sing “Christ is Risen, Alleluia.” We’ll hear trumpets, and bells, and we’ll try to wrap our heads around the far fetched story that a man who was dead is not dead. But we know it’s coming and that makes today anything but solemn.
So, if I don’t get around to posting tomorrow, it’s okay if I go ahead and say to you now… “HE IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!”