Surviving the Week after Easter
Easter is big. Most churches pour more energy into the resurrection celebration than anything else. We should! Jesus’ resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.
My body feels like it hums following a full day of Sunday preaching. I’m not sure if it is physiological, but the rush of preaching makes it hard for me to sleep on Sunday nights. I preach three back-to-back services, then I get wired, and then I crash sometime after midnight. I enjoy Mondays, but I’m usually not all there. This effect is exaggerated on Easter.
The Monday after Easter Sunday can be disorienting. You’re tired. Sometimes unholy behavior accompanies holy week. Many spiritual battles can lead up to resurrection day. I tend to do a lot of counseling and crisis management the week prior to Easter.
The joyous whirlwind has stopped, and the grind of ministry begins again. I’m sure the disciples felt something similar after Jesus’ ascension. They were all standing around watching Jesus go into heaven, and the two angels chided them to get back to work. Our work as church leaders does not culminate on Easter Sunday. As you dig back into it, consider a few ways to make this week more rewarding.
Celebrate with other pastors. Make a few phone calls and encourage other pastors. Maybe their Easter did not go as planned. Maybe Easter didn’t meet your expectations, and you need their encouragement. The week after Easter is a good time to catch up with other pastors.
Rest an extra day and enjoy God’s common grace. The weather in most areas is getting warmer. Get outside. Go on a ride. Take a hike or a walk. Do something to enjoy what God has provided. Spend some time with your spouse or children. God’s saving grace through Jesus’ resurrection can lead to a greater appreciation of rest in God’s common grace.
Reflect on your calling. Take a couple of hours to pray and ask God to bring about a freshness to your calling as a pastor or church leader. Re-energize your soul with prayer.
Learn something new about a neighbor. Use the downtime after Easter to sit down with a neighbor. Get to know him or her better. Build a bridge and deepen a friendship. Or make a connection for the first time. The resurrection should not hide behind garage doors.
Read a non-theological book. Try a classic novel by an author you’ve never read. Jump into a biography of a historical figure you want to know more about. Dig into a business or leadership book you think might help with church practice. While your physical body is recovering from Easter, engage your mind in a new way.
Easter Sunday is now over. Most of us pastors are tired. Your energy level is a little lower than usual. Don’t just survive. Step outside your regular patterns and have a great week.