Many of us know this coming week as “Easter week”. Many Christian leaders called this week “I’m knackered, I need some time off” week having been very busy with all the different elements that make up the Holy week liturgy. Sally has been at compline, and a vigil on the wasteland, we both went to the community passion play, Maundy Thursday supper and stations of the cross. The sweep of emotions evoked by the Holy week liturgy takes its toll even though it ends in joy on Easter day. Eastern Orthodox Christians (who don’t celebrate Easter until 5th May) have a different term for this week, they call it “bright week” or “renewal week”, interesting terms that I had not come across. During that week Christians are encouraged to celebrate the risen Christ through reading psalms, Scripture, spiritual songs and hymns. It is during this week that the doors of the icons are left open which represents the tomb with the stone rolled away.
I confess that I do not always live my life in the reality of resurrection. Some of my days seem like Good Friday or even the darkness in the cave of Easter Saturday, a day of lamenting. Once the easter eggs have all been eaten and the bank holidays have gone I want to commit myself to having a bright renewal week that is not dependent on having a holiday, lots of chocolate or Chelsea winning. But I have also been a Christian long enough to know that it is inevitable that there will be Good Fridays and Easter Saturdays in the weeks ahead and that’s okay. Sometimes it feels like we are failing God if we are not always bright and positive and smiling. A read of the Psalms shows what a nonsense that is but there are some places where it can be hard to be a Christian and be real about what is going on inside. I am sure this week and forthcoming weeks will have Good Fridays and Easter Saturdays, but to live in resurrection is a commitment as well as truth but the joy of the resurrection only comes out of the sadness of grief and the darkness of not knowing, both are parts of our journey of faith.