Sleep on This: Easter Monday and my lousy lawnmower (April 13)

Sleep on This: Easter Monday and my lousy lawnmower (April 13)

Good evening, friend!

I have a lawnmower that I pretty much hate. I paid $85 to tune it up and sharpen it up. And still, after running smoothly for about fifteen minutes…enough time to do one half of my lawn…it begins to sputter and cough. (I think it has Corona for lawn implements.) When it reaches this stage, I can only push the thing a few feet before it threatens to die, and then I have to stop abruptly, lift up the front end and wait… and hope it will keep running (because to restart it in this state is virtually impossible.)

I’ve done the craziest things to try and work around this problem, including wiring the throttle full open, which doesn’t work, and mowing backwards…which, for some reason, does work. But it makes me dizzy. At any rate, the last few runs across the yard are always a frustrating race to see if I can finish the job before my mower finally sputters out for good.

Holy Week is so intense. It even ends with a series of days with their own special names: Spy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday and, of course, Easter Sunday. Looking back, it felt like we were running on all cylinders those days. Maundy Thursday with our in-home communion experience. Good Friday, a 16-hour marathon of fasting, prayer and on-line teaching. And, of course, spectacular Easter Sunday! We launched our first Port Orchard virtual gathering, welcomed thousands of homes to our online Gig Harbor service on YouTube and Facebook, and even ended with a much-ballyhooed virtual hymn sing courtesy of Gunnar and Aimee Tesdahl! Very intense!

Then comes Easter Monday. It’s not even a thing in the States, although some countries treat it as a holiday. But there is nothing biblically significant about it. And it made me wonder…what were the disciples doing on Easter Monday? They had an “ecstatic” encounter with Jesus the night before. (I talked about that in my Easter message.) But then Jesus left the party, apparently. At least, that’s what I infer from the fact that when he reappeared a week later, they were hunkered down and locked in and surprised to see him…again.

I may be reading too much into this, but I assume that Easter Monday…the day after resurrection, the day after Jesus’ first apostolic-revealing…was a bit of a downer, energy-wise. Especially if Jesus wasn’t around physically. Nothing had changed, of course! The tomb was still empty. Jesus had still shown up and breathed his Holy Spirit upon them. But Monday was quiet. It would be another week before Jesus’ reappearance. Jesus was alive. Hurrah. And they had the Holy Spirit in a new way. Huzzah! But Monday just wasn’t as exciting as Sunday… and they were having to learn how to live faithfully without Jesus right next to them all the time. 

We have to learn the same things! And that’s OK. We cannot stay at full throttle all the time; eventually, we will sputter out. Spectacularly. We are learning that Jesus is just as surely present with us on quiet, uneventful Mondays…as he is on jubilant Resurrection Sundays. In fact, we need these quiet days to pause, reflect and smile at the thought of what Jesus just did!

And, in Corona World, some days have great news and ensuing enthusiasm…and more days…don’t. And that’s, OK, too. We wait patiently as God completes his work in us!

Dear Lord, as I lay me down to sleep this night, teach me to enjoy the quiet non-events of my life as well as the spectacular ones. Make me steady so that, in both exhilarating times as well as slow ones, I am just as confident in your faithful presence. Amen.

Pastor Mark