I woke up 20 minutes before our "SonRise" service started at church. I had planned to go but then I thought, no, maybe not. Then I got ready and found out my husband had wanted to go to church today. Great planning, huh?
30 minutes later (and 15 minutes late) I got to church.
And the scab on this heart-wound of mine was picked off again.
It seems I can't go to church without being confronted with the pain of our situation. This seems really, really, really awful to say because this is the core of our prayer team, all those so concerned with how our family is. I know it is me. I know engaging in corporate worship is something done from the heart and right now, my heart is cracked.
I had the strongest association this morning as I was driving (ok, speeding) to the service. I know exactly how Mary Magdalene felt when she went to the tomb so early - to finish the job of caring for Jesus' broken body. The feeling of heaviness is overpowering.
Then, to get there and find Him gone was probably way more than her emotional and mental state could bear. Her only choice was to take off running. Then, after Peter and John had come to see - but not yet understanding - she goes back. She can't believe it - someone had actually taken His body!
The Greek word for weeping, as Mary was described as doing in John 20:11, is klaiō. It means to wail, lament, to be in pain. It is the same word used to describe Peter weeping in Matthew, Mark and Luke after he betrayed Jesus 3 times. It is a bitter feeling, feeling like your heart is about to burst and your tears cannot be contained.
That is not the way I was taught to go to church on Easter Sunday. But I do know God would rather me be real than put on a happy face and pretend, so I was.
When they sang "Better than a Hallelujah" by Amy Grant, well that was it. I had so wanted to experience the joy of the Empty Tomb, to not be in God's house with a heavy heart.
But sometimes, Easter just isn't that way. I know it took awhile for the disciples to process all that Jesus said and did - all He proved Himself to be. It takes time and the working of The Holy Spirit to understand what freedom in the Resurrection means.
Doesn't mean I can't stand in awe of what The Lord has done in and through us. But it does mean that I can't go to church to get my fix (or to get fixed). It is time for a real resurrection and that only happens in His Presence, having faith in Him, even when I don't have the feelings.
Whether I go to church right now is irrelevant. It won't always be that way, but right now what is relevant is quietly meeting with Jesus - and letting Him speak into my heart. I haven't been doing that a lot lately so it is time to start again by carving out time away from the temporary for time in the eternity.
Easter isn't meant to just make me feel good for a day - Easter is meant to change my heart forever and what that looks like takes time to see.
Kind of puts the chocolate bunny I ate yesterday and the saying "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips" into perspective. If what goes in, comes out - it is time to get back to business - my Father's business.
And I think He thinks that is better than a hallelujah anytime.