Easter Weekend will never be the same for me again.
Last Good Friday was like any other. I went to work all day. I drove home. My wife and I headed to our church to sing and pray and remember Jesus’ death for us together as a body. We pulled a dinner audible afterwards and decided we could go out to eat (I think we had leftovers on the weekly dinner menu scheduled). We ended up at a delicious Japanese steakhouse that looks like a leftover set from a 70’s Kung Fu movie. The two of us got in with little waiting and ate some delicious food and went home…
…Easter Sunday we missed Easter worship with a church family for the first time in either of our lives. Instead, we woke up in the hospital, radically sleep-deprived but overwhelmed with joy, held captive by the cries of a 6 pound baby girl and being called new names like “Dad” and “Mom.”
Our lives had dramatically changed. Good Friday we had gone for a spur of the moment dinner (for 2!), went home and even had a full night’s sleep. We were mobile and flexible. We sang and prayed at church that night with both hands free, no nursery check-ins or interrupting cries. Easter Sunday we had bags under our eyes, no concept of what time of day it was, and were tethered to every need of a tiny human in a plastic nursery bed cart. The phrase “and a high chair” soon entered our restaurant vocabulary. Attending worship was now a complex logistical equation worthy of its own flow chart. Everything had changed when our daughter Eowyn decided to be born a little earlier than expected that April Saturday. (and we wouldn’t go back to the way it was!)
I can’t imagine how extreme the difference between the original Good Friday and Easter morning was. Both were characterized by confusion and uncertainty. Both were emotional events, one of utter despair and fear and the other of unrestrained joy and amazement. Both involved Jesus’ followers being pushed beyond their limits in every way. How do you go from hearing the bold cries of “Crucify him!” on Friday to hearing the excited whispers of “He’s not there!” on Sunday? I don’t think we’ll ever know quite what it must have been like for the original followers of Jesus to have their entire worldview radically altered twice in a span of 48 hours or so.
But at least now, I know a little of what it’s like to have your whole world changed between a Friday and a Sunday.