I've been pretty much absent without leave for the past ten days. I took a break from some things to recuperate from the Easter madness. I'm discovering, however, that I'm still living in the miracle of Easter. For some reason, this year was one of the most meaningful Easters I've ever experienced.
I think pastors and church leaders experience Easter differently than anyone else. For better or worse. Worse is when you invest all of your time facilitating an experience for other people and realize two days later that you never experienced the presence of Christ yourself. Like the priests in Ezekiel 43 who were allowed to minister to the people in the outer court but were not allowed into the holy place to minister directly in the presence of God. I experienced one of those Easters a couple years ago.
Better is when you are in the privileged position of facilitating the experience for others and then you find yourself entering even deeper into God's presence and promises and blessings yourself.
This year was completely different than any Easter I've ever experienced before. It was the thrill of being a part of so many meaningful moments, sharing them with great people, and being caught up in the momentum of what God is doing in our midst. There's no formula for it. But I think the preparation of our heart makes all the difference. How is our heart oriented coming into Easter? Is it on task or people? On event or relationship?
My Easter consisted of working with an amazing team working on a meaningful Good Friday service; celebrating the birthday of a great friend in the midst of many other great friends; driving our Protege Andy around to our Easter Eggstravaganzas for filming; preparing baptism candidates and cheering for them as they came up out of the water; watching our Protege team going the extra mile over and over and over again all week; watching the sun rise over the Capitol on Easter morning; leading the charge at our weekend services at Ebenezers Coffeehouse; eating an amazing meal with some of my closest friends; playing cornhole until the sun went down; and sitting with Ryan on the front porch reflecting on our favorite moments of the weekend.
I think the way we experience Easter is determined by who we celebrate it with and in how we experience every other weekend throughout the year.