Sharp About Your Prayers

the challenges, absurdities, and joys of an urban faith

Sharp About Your Prayers header image 2

Easter Monday & Opening Day

April 2nd, 2013 · 5 Comments · Faith and the City

It is Easter Monday. It’s also Opening Day.

All over the world today, clergy are massaging sore muscles and ignoring their emails. Our faith’s World Series is over–again. So naturally, we feel spent, giddy and wistful.

LilyThe crowds came. The smell of hyacinths perfumed the air.  People said, as they always do, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the sanctuary were always this full?!” The music was glorious. We put extra oomph into our preaching and our praying. So much so, you would think Jesus depended on us—on our flailing—to emerge from the tomb.

We had the best of intentions. We knew there were folk in the house who did not know the rules, or the history, or the protocol of the game. Some settled into the bleachers under duress–tugged there by an eager fan. Others hadn’t been out to the park in a long time. None of that mattered. They were present. They were watching, trying to make sense of the goings on. We wanted to honor their attendance with our best. We wanted to convey that what we do here matters.

So, we set our sights high. We said, “We’ll hit all the bases: Gethsemane, Golgotha, and the garden tomb. We’ll let our hopes—our flawed, ferocious hopes—energize every at bat. We’ll swing fiercely, aiming to rip the ball over the left field fence, or at least bang a double off the wall.”

In the end, the story got told. In the presence of our anxiety, our eagerness, our wide-swinging hopefulness, the story got told.

It was–and always will be–bigger than us.  It will never depend on you or me hitting home runs.  Thank God.

BaseballNow, it’s over.

Next Sunday, things will return to normal. We will look at each other, a little embarrassed at last week’s ecstasy. Did we really fling off our flowered hats, shout “Alleluia!”, and rush the field!?

Relaxed, we will toss the ball around the diamond. We will wink at each other; for the tomb is still empty. Christ is risen! And, we’ve got the rest of our lives to get Easter right.

Indeed.

Facebook Comments

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Tags: ···

5 Comments so far ↓

  • LouNo Gravatar

    As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.” Play Ball!

  • JohnNo Gravatar

    When my wife and I go to the first game of the season ( it has never been an opening day), It reminds me a little like visiting church. There are the greeters, although they don’t shake my hand ( its much more personal). There are the ushers with programs.

    The beauty, smells, and sounds of the space. The prelude and old standard “hymns.” Rituals to participate in and feel a little awkward doing. Can a pretzel be like communion bread? We usually share.

    In my seat, I feel like an interloper among diehards, I like meeting the folks around me. There is usually someone in my area that knows every stat, every player of past seasons. I smile and try to keep up. I feel like I am not worthy to sit in the space. But I am happy to be there. There are times when my mind wanders to people watch.

    Whether the message is a win or lose, I still leave with something to talk about and ready to go back: to participate.

    It’s a good part of life. Maybe I should go throw the ball a little before the next game?

  • EmilyNo Gravatar

    A work colleague of mine posted today on All Angels Church’s “Feasting 50” blog. Kind of a neat idea and challenge for their congregation to be as intentional about feasting in the season of Easter as we are in fasting in the season of Lent. Here is the link: http://feasting50.tumblr.com