It is Eastertide, the Great Fifty Days in which we celebrate Resurrection, Christ’s triumph over sin and death and evil. During Easter, we remember our own baptism, too, in which we died with Christ and were raised with Him in newness of life. This whole season is life and joy. Those of us in the northern hemisphere see that newness of life and joy reflected in the greening of the trees and the myriad colors of the flowers, as if creation itself were dancing for joy that winter is over and gone, the time for singing has come!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Ring the bells, sound the trumpets, bang the gongs, shout for joy! Death is defeated! Joy is here, is now!
And it is.
And it’s also not.
That’s why our task in Easter is to live in joy—and it is a task. It’s something we do. And in this vale of tears, it’s sometimes hard to do.
You wouldn’t think joy would be so difficult. After all, it’s what we all crave, right? We want joy. And yet…joy is hard. Think about it. Does it bring you joy when you yell at your kids or snap at your spouse? Does it bring you joy to fritter away an hour on Facebook and get sucked down a dozen different online rabbit trails that leave you wishing you had that hour of your life back? Does it bring you joy to hurl yourself onto your bed and curl up in a ball of teeth-gnashing self-pity? Does it bring you joy to listen to the voices of self-loathing or self-doubt or self-exaltation that seem to be constantly knocking about in your head?
Huh. Those things don’t bring me joy, either. And yet—I still do them. Now why is that?
Find out the one-word answer over on The Messy Middle, where author Amy Young hangs her online shingle. She’s been kind enough to share her space with me today, so won’t you please click over and make her glad she did? 🙂 Thanks, friends!
Photo by llee-wu, Creative Commons via Flickr.