Joy


An Easter Guest Post by the Rev. Josephine Robertson



Why Are We Here?


I sat on a folding chair, with a plate full of bacon, homemade breakfast casserole, and gooey donuts in front of me. There was a pot of church lady coffee (I was the church lady who brewed this pot so it was strong) on the table, and a half full cup at my place.


I looked around the room. The table was ringed by the anxious faces of this little community. We were there to try to discern their future in a world that is changing too fast for its members to keep pace. “Well,” I asked gently, “why are you here?”


I munched on bacon while they mumbled and stared at one another. They threw around some buzz words like “ministry” and “baptism.” Finally after a long, sad silence the woman across the table from me (in a beautiful Lenten purple beret) said firmly. “I think because we have so much fun together.”


She threw the words into the room like a challenge, daring me to tell her that wasn’t a good enough reason to be a church.


Reader: I did not. I smiled with relief.


That Lenten Feeling


They say misery loves company. So maybe that’s why Christians talk about doing Lent so much, and Easter hardly at all. Lenten challenges might have changed over the years but there is still a heavy dose of sacrifice implied in the season. And a dour kind of satisfaction in our shared suffering (however minor).


But I have never, not once, seen a Christian talk about the joyful practice they were keeping during the great fifty days of Easter. While churches will go on and on about the sacrifices they make to help others (a worthy cause certainly) they rarely so much as whisper about how much fun their potlucks are. They never tell the story of their monthly game night where the youth group helped 80 year old widows roll up D&D characters. (It turns out you don’t want to be an evil liche lord when Betty is at the table.)