I don’t know why that surprises me so much every Holy Week, but I inevitably end up in tears at the Maundy Thursday service. I walk in the door thinking I’m OK, and then 5 minutes later the charade falls apart, and my heart is broken open. Then I finally realize how desperate I am for new life. It shouldn’t be a shock; it happens every year. Yet every year I find myself wondering what happened to all my hope and joy.
It’s not that I don’t miss it, either. I know it’s gone, but somehow it never occurs to me that an infusion of grace might be the cure. Maybe other Christians experience the same thing? Should we have Easter twice a year, or something, to shore up my failing memory?
In any case, I have been reminded. I have been to the tomb, and left there my doubts, shames, fears, and failings. I am ready to wake up tomorrow and celebrate the life I have and the life that is coming. And I am grateful.
Evangelism is not my thing. It’s partly because I am an old-fashioned, Minnesota-nice, back-row Lutheran (read: confrontation of any sort is scary and bad). Mostly, though, it’s because I understand and accept doubt. I don’t know, either, why God allows bad things to happen to good people and vice versa. I don’t have the answers about evolution, nor do I know which parts of the Bible are meant to be literal and unchanging, and which are open to new interpretation as times change. A good part of the year, I am willing to debate those questions and to merge faith and doubt. And I am always willing to acknowledge that another person may come away from that debate with completely different conclusions than I.
For the Easter season, though, I am content to bask in a faith that is unseeing. I want to enjoy the hope of heaven, to believe fully in Jesus’ power and glory without worrying about what will happen in the meantime.