An interesting prayer was prayed at our church on Easter Sunday, with a sentence that went something like this: "Lord, help us to overcome the grief of Good Friday and celebrate your resurrection today."
I thought that was odd. It was Easter. No one in that sanctuary looked grief-stricken. And while I'm sure no one was without his or her personal griefs and troubles, It didn't seem as though anyone could have trouble overcoming Good Friday and celebrating Easter with joy!
You see, I think it's hardest not to enjoy the resurrection, but to properly observe Lent and Good Friday. Hardest to remember day in and day out that I am dust and to dust I shall return, hardest to remember that it may as well have been I that drove the nails into Christ's hands.
We live in a post-resurrection era: we are alive, and so is Christ. Far harder, then, to live constantly in the reality of the things we don't know experientially - our own transient natures, the briefness of our earthly lives, and Christ's death - than to blithely enjoy those we do know: daily life and Christ's completed atoning sacrifice.
We do not, as many a pastor has been fond of saying, dwell in a life that exists between Good Friday and Easter; rather, if we are Christians we live between one certainty and another: Christ's resurrection and our eventual resurrection with Christ "at the sound of the last trumpet."
I understand the premise behind saying we live in a sort of constant Good Friday or Holy Saturday as we await Christ's second coming. It's a world full of suffering, injustice, hurt, loss, and grief. Jesus knew it would be so, and said, "You will always have the poor among you," and, "In this world you will have trouble."
"...But take heart! I have overcome the world."
And he has.
Lord, help us to not only celebrate the Easter season with joy, but to keep with us the lessons you teach us through our observation of Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Good Friday.