Woohoo! It’s Easter (or at least it was). We all got dressed up in our new clothes and headed off to church in high spirits. “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” We sang and smiled and sang some more. The preacher brought his word and people who never amen uttered an amen. And did I mention that it was Easter! Yes!
So how long does that Easter high last? It’s Friday. Is He still risen? Of course Jesus is still risen, but does your life show it? Are you still feeling that Easter thrill like you did a short five days ago?
Let me put this another way. What is the shelf life for your mountain-top experiences with God? For me, this Sunday, for all its power, had pretty well faded behind the chaos and confusion of the remainder of the day. I think it was around 2:00 p.m. when I realized that my mailbox had fallen over and needed to be re-set before Monday that my Easter warranty expired.
Part of me wants to ask how to make the mountain-top experience last longer, but another part wonders if we should expect them to endure. Think about big-mouth Peter on the mountain of transfiguration:
Peter and those with him were in a deep sleep, and when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men who were standing with him. As the two men were departing from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it’s good for us to be here. Let us set up three shelters: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he was saying.–Luke 9:32-33
In short, Peter was saying, “Lord, this is really cool. Let’s stay here forever!” And of course they couldn’t. They had to go down the mountain and deal with hunger and sickness, sore feet and hard beds. How long did Peter’s literal mountain-top experience last? We know that it didn’t keep him from denying Jesus not terribly far in the future.
Should I feel bad that my Easter thrill dwindled so quickly? I don’t know that I should. I am, after all, a ball of sinful flesh with an indwelling Holy Spirit. That arrangement cannot simply stay on the mountain, although we can hope to make the visits more frequent.
A day will come when we will dwell forever in that mountain-top realm. That experience will make Easter 2019 seem kind of anemic, and it will endure. But until that day comes, we need to treasure the mountain peaks knowing that the valleys and the tedious plains will inevitably come.
Rather than feeling bad about the speed with which the glow faded out of Easter this week, perhaps we should focus on getting back to the mountain more than once a year. Easter 2020, by the way, will be on April 12.