Easter baskets are empty, clothes hampers are full of our Sunday best, and Cadbury Eggs are now 50% at the grocery store (thanks be to God).
While Easter Sunday might not leave us with quite the same holiday hangover that Christmas does, if yesterday wasn’t the only day you’ve been to church in the past year and this whole Christianity thing is something you try to take seriously, then perhaps you find yourself waking up this morning thinking, “Well Easter is over, now what?”
Of course, if you’re in a liturgical tradition, then you’re probably shouting at your computer, “Easter isn’t over! It keeps going till Pentecost!!”
While that’s certainly true, for those of us in churches that don’t follow the Christian liturgical calendar quite so closely, Easter came and went yesterday.
Maybe those of us in low church traditions could stand to learn a thing or two about the Christian calendar, but then again maybe there’s something we can all learn to remember the day after the most important day of the Christian year.
If the resurrection is merely something we confess, celebrate, and sing about on Easter Sunday, but don’t live out each and every day, then everything we did at church yesterday was a complete waste of time.
I often tell people that I believe in the resurrection because I believe I have encountered the resurrected Christ in my own life through the kindness of strangers, the love of family, the grace of friends, and forgiveness from everyone in between.
I have a pretty good feeling a lot of other people believe in the resurrection for this same sort of reason.
None of us walking the earth today were there the day Jesus walked out of the tomb. We didn’t get stand beside Thomas and put our fingers through the nail marks in Jesus’ hands. We all missed out on that wonderful post-Easter breakfast with Jesus and the disciples on the seashore.
And, of course, neither science nor archeology will ever confirm the reality of the resurrection.
So, the only “proof” we have that what we say happened actually happened is the way we live in this post-resurrection world. That is to say, the only way we can claim that the resurrection really happened is if it is still really happening in and through us.
Do we live like the kingdom of God really is dawning?
Are our lives marked by the love, grace, forgiveness, mercy, and compassion of the resurrection?
When people see us do they see the resurrected Christ living through us?
Because if they don’t, if our lives bear no marks of the resurrection, then there is no proof of that the resurrection ever happened. Or worse, as Peter Rollins puts it so well, if our lives bear no marks of the resurrection, then we deny the resurrection with our lives.
In other words, if we don’t live out the resurrected life, then every song we sang yesterday was a waste of breath. Every cry of hallelujah was hollow. Every sermon just empty words. And every minute we spent in church celebrating was an utter waste of time.
But if we really believe that yesterday was a day worth celebrating. If we really believe in a world being made new. If we really believe in a resurrected Jesus.
Then we must live like we believe.
We must live like the tomb really is empty.
We must live like Jesus really is alive.
And we must live like the world really is being made new.
Otherwise, Easter Sunday is just an excuse to get dressed up and buy lots of candy.