Yesterday was Easter and it was good but I will happily admit I’m always glad when Easter Day is over. There’s a lot of pressure, more from the inside than the outside. As I get older, I’m learning to have fewer expectations of myself (perfect sermon! amazing attendance! delicious Easter dinner! joyful and kind 24/7!) The sermon was okay, not amazing, but done was good. The scalloped potatoes were too soupy and not quite soft enough, but no one died after eating them. The chocolate cake made up for the potatoes, as I knew it would, and we may have a new tradition of watching “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” on Easter evening.
But now that Easter Day is done, I am excited about two things: sweets (my Lenten deprivation) and cleaning my office. Truth be told, I’m more excited about the cleaning.
Things piled up during Lent. Ashes, palm leaves, candles, bulletin drafts, sermon drafts, emails, coffee cups, commentaries on the Gospel of John, paper clips. Papers didn’t get filed, or recycled, or shredded, committee meeting agendas and financial statements in particular. The plants got watered, but the leaves did not get vacuumed up. Books and notebooks of preaching materials lay scattered about, like dead toy soldiers on the battlefield of my office.
It’s was mess, and I did not clean up for the Risen Lord on Sunday. I think he’s okay with that. He got lilies and the Hallelujah Chorus and the Widor Toccato. And life. That should be enough.
But Bright Monday! Last night I started singing “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dusting Day” with great excitement. And so it began this morning. Cups and glasses and fake red carnations taken back to the kitchen. Pillar candles to the candle closet. Stoles in purple and green folded up and put neatly away. Papers filed, shredded, and recycled. Books put back where they belong. A new paper for my blotter.
And then the wild rumpus of the dusting began. I am telling you, dusting is good for the soul. It’s an almost instant gratification and you have to do just enough work to be able to tell yourself you really put something into it. Now the wood of my desk and shelves looks like new, and it appears that an adult occupies the office.
While I am always relieved and happy when Easter Day is over, I am also always glad that Eastertide has begun. I wish we in the church did more with Eastertide, made it the mirror of Lent. Commit to adding something good in Eastertide, for yourself or the world. Examine not your sin but your joy. Eat sumptuously. Laugh a lot. That’s why I wish all those Easter worshipers would come back – they just get the beginning of the good stuff, the amuse bouche of the faith and not the main course. Easter is the appetizer, not the dessert.
Oh well. As I get older, I let go of that expectation too, that folks will come back in droves. It’s enough for me that they were here, and that we’ll see them next year.
Today Eastertide began and I dusted. Life is good; there is joy, and my soul feels as clean as my office.