Expecting Surprise

This morning I was standing at the back of the sanctuary waiting to process for the last of the three services. The building was packed. Behind me in the Narthex amidst the sound of excited voices waiting for the service to start and some trying to set up chairs in the Narthex, was the rustling of the huge ribbon banners that are the first things in the Easter Festival Processional. There was a little girl standing on a chair in the very back. She turned around and saw the glorious white ribbons rustling in the breeze of the open doors and exclaimed, “Mommy, I think we’re having a party!”

Well, of course we’re having a party! Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed!

Expectations are good things. They make us pay attention; they keep us awake; they keep us excited about life. But when expectations get in the way of our noticing and welcoming the unexpected, we need to let go of what we expected. The women who first encountered the tomb were expecting a tomb. They were not expecting it to be open, not expecting it to be empty, not expecting Jesus to be gone. Mary broke down, weeping over her loss, until Jesus surprised her. Jesus was present after all. The unexpected had happened. Christ was indeed Risen! She had expected anything but a party, but here it was happening anyway!

Easter is about encountering the unexpected. Everything that was expected, that was planned, has gone by the wayside. The Season of Lent prepared us for this by emptying us, by making room for what was aobut to happen. Now is the Season to embrace the unexpected and let it fill your life.

Well, of course we’re having a party! Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed!

So go forth in this festival season and expect to be surprised!

Happy Easter!

Grace and Peace,


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