Someone approached me after service last Sunday – after the procession with palms and the reading of the Passion – and said “That wasn’t what I expected when I came to church today, but it was a beautiful service.”
What is it that you are expecting as you come for the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection tomorrow? Lilies in the sanctuary? A new paschal candle? A crowded sanctuary? Are you anticipating having to join the “overflow” in the Fellowship Hall at 9:45? Trouble finding a parking space? Familiar hymns?
Are you expecting to be surprised by the risen Christ?
I wonder what they were expecting on that first Resurrection Sunday. The evidence is that they expected the body to be just where they left it. The suggestion is that they were waiting for things to quiet down so they could safely return to Galilee. The story is told in such a way that they anticipated that the dead were dead and the movement was over.
I doubt they expected to be surprised by the risen Christ.
As you prepare to join us tomorrow for the familiar and expected celebrations of Easter, I hope you will leave room in your soul to be surprised. In fact, I encourage you to pray for a surprise visit from the risen Christ. If Easter teaches us anything, it’s that we never know when he’s going to show up.
Grace and peace.