Yesterday was Easter Monday. It was also Opening Day.
All over the world, clergy are massaging sore muscles and ignoring their emails. Our faith's World Series is over-again. So naturally, we feel spent, giddy and wistful.
The crowds came. The smell of hyacinths perfumed the air. People said, as they always do, "Wouldn't it be nice if the sanctuary were always this full?!" The music was glorious. We put extra oomph into our preaching and our praying. So much so, you would think Jesus depended on us-on our flailing-to emerge from the tomb.
We had the best of intentions. We knew there were folk in the house who did not know the rules, or the history, or the protocol of the game. Some settled into the bleachers under duress-tugged there by an eager fan. Others hadn't been out to the park in a long time. None of that mattered. They were present. They were watching, trying to make sense of the goings on. We wanted to honor their attendance with our best. We wanted to convey that what we do here matters.
So, we set our sights high. We said, "We'll hit all the bases: Gethsemane, Golgotha, and the garden tomb. We'll let our hopes-our flawed, ferocious hopes-energize every at bat. We'll swing fiercely, aiming to rip the ball over the left field fence, or at least bang a double off the wall."
In the end, the story got told. In the presence of our anxiety, our eagerness, our wide-swinging hopefulness, the story got told.
It was-and always will be-bigger than us. It will never depend on you or me hitting home runs. Thank God.
Now, it's over.
Next Sunday, things will return to normal. We will look at each other, a little embarrassed at last week's ecstasy. Did we really fling off our flowered hats, and rush the field!? Who shouted "Alleluia!"? Relaxed, we will toss the ball around the diamond. We will wink at each other; for the tomb is still empty. Christ is risen! And, we've got the rest of our lives to get Easter right.