Failing at Easter

Last month, I wrote about failing at Lent. I expected Lent to humble me, showing my lack of conformity and discipline. Lent is about falling short, and I was ready to fail.

I’ve been a bit more surprised by my failing at Easter.

I’ve always thought of Easter as easy. It’s happy and full of chocolate and alleluias and “He is Risen, Indeed!” It’s celebrating what we affirm every week: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

But over the last week, I’ve found myself again and again defining myself by what I am not, focusing on my failure and lack and sinfulness. Comparing myself to other people, I felt small. I’ve acted like a person who has no hope.

That’s not the way Easter is supposed to work. Easter is joyous celebration, not for its own sake, but because of the truth.We have joy because we have hope, real resurrection hope. Christ is risen, he’s at work in this world, and we are a part of his story of redemption far greater than we can imagine.

Sometimes I think if I could believe 1% of what was true about me in Christ, and the transforming work that God is accomplishing in and through me, I would be free of the paralyzing self-pity and doubt that makes my life feel meaningless sometimes. I’d be able to do what God made me to do, and be who he wants me to be, without worrying about who I am not.

If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that I don’t believe nearly enough. And so I’m left to pray “I believe, only help my unbelief” and remind myself of the truth of the gospel. I cling to the hope that if I long to believe what is true more deeply, God will grant it to me.

3 responses to “Failing at Easter

  1. I really enjoyed this post. It’s so hard when the church seasons don’t feel the way they should feel – like a sad Christmas.

    I am not sure how you celebrate in your tradition, but for Catholics, Easter lasts 50 days, until Pentecost Sunday! If Easter Sunday or Easter week was not quite what you wanted, it’s not too late to reclaim it. :)

  2. Yes, it’s not too late! I’m thankful for weeks and weeks of Easter to work it out. And, honestly, it’s always Easter on some level, so it’s a good thing to recognize and conform.

  3. “If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that I don’t believe nearly enough.”

    So well put, Kristen. It amazes me that at one moment I can feel like there is nothing more true than Christ, and the next act as if I were riddled with doubt. I’m glad that reality is based on Jesus and not on me!


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