Sometimes Easter feels like standing in the surf at Maroubra, another series of waves comes crashing through and I have to judge whether to jump, swim, dive or float.
Another season of Lent wends its way towards an upper room, some washed feet and a purple clothed cross. What sort of Easter is this one? Will I soar on the surge of joy found in an empty tomb and a life filled promise? Will I find myself diving into the sudden silence of Saturday – that interminable in between place? Or floating across the bruise coloured chorus of Maundy Thursday’s minor key?
Easter, despite its repetition, comes in many flavours.
Or rather, I find myself moving through this calendar and cycle in strangely differing spaces each year. To my great gratitude I find that scripture also allows me not only four gospel windows through which to encounter this Easter, but a depth of prayers and meditations from across the Psalms and Epistles to dive into as well.
Sometimes we come to our faith with guilt or shame that we don’t feel a certain way about it. As if we are not truly thankful for God’s grace unless we can dance for joy; or if don’t fully journey with Jesus unless we can find the tears of Good Friday. It’s true, they are dramatic and emotional extremes in the Jesus story, and at times in our lives can seem as if they are mirroring our own soul. The story resonates, even if some years from a distance.
Truth be told, this year I am tired. Another Easter wave is rolling through, and I’m in this rhythm of surf so I’m ready to leap and dive as needed. (Wave the palms, wash the feet, were you there? And shout hosanna!). I know the lines. I love the words. Mostly though I find myself back in Gethsemane; struggling to stay awake, yet acutely aware of the call to keep watch.
And I find comfort in this scene. I find my place in this Easter cycle. No call to do this, to go there, or to challenge that. Keep watch. Bear witness. And in a small spark of mercy, I am reminded of another story in this gospel cycle, where the most faithful disciples are not those rushing around in a hive of activity – but those like Mary Magdalene and the other women, who waited and watched. Even through their own tiredness and grief.
This Easter, I wait.
And the wave will roll through and find me.
It will bear me up, and lead me to the next set.
And in my own way, I will quietly whisper “hosanna”.