I sat staring at my computer screen. The cursor blinked at me, flashing a steady beat of "what to say, what to say?" I had to get a post done. I'd put it off for days and now at the last minute I had to finish something. It never fails to amaze me just how vacant my mind can get when I really need some thoughts to put on the page. And that's where I was. Vacant. Empty. Nothing to say.
I knew exactly what I was supposed to write about. It was time for the weekly post about the resurrection. But my thoughts sounded something like this: What else do I have to say about the resurrection? Why am I still talking about it? I'm tired of talking about the resurrection week after week. Should I just move on to something else more...interesting?
As my mind caught up to my thoughts, I gasped. Well, that's not true. But I should have gasped. I should have been fairly horrified. Had I just called the resurrection un-interesting?! It was the cognitive equivalent of glancing back over your shoulder, just to see if someone was in earshot, to see if someone might have heard. This is when I realized afresh the importance of building rhythms into our lives. In this case, rhythms into the Christian life, rhythms and seasons that help us remember.
For those of you who are just dropping by (welcome!), let me explain. In the traditional church calendar, Easter starts off with a grand celebration on Easter Sunday but doesn't end there. It continues on as a seven-week long season of the church. Just as Lent is a long season focusing on humility, repentance, and the sufferings of Christ, Easter is a long season of celebration. Since I spent a lot of time sharing Lenten posts, I decided it was only appropriate to spread out some posts on the resurrection over the season of Easter.
But then here I was last week, "tired" of it, wanting to move on. My instinctual reaction shows a lot about the human heart, or at least this human heart. It's so easy for us to forget. It's so easy for us to want to move on to more "exciting" things. In this case, it's so easy to forget the unparalleled victory of the resurrection, the enormous feat it accomplished. It's so easy to want to move on from the fundamental power and joy of the Gospel to "bigger and better things," instead of pressing deeper and deeper into what it means for us.
This, I think, is why God instituted yearly celebrations, feasts, and memorials for the Israelites. He knew the human tendency to forget. He knew the human tendency to get bored with the things most precious, most crucial for our existence. So he built them into their year - not for empty ritual's sake, but to continue to pull their focus and their hearts back to those things they could not afford to forget.
The same idea lies behind the church calendar. It builds seasons into the year, seasons that walk us through and pull us back to those things we cannot afford to forget. There are certainly other ways to do this than attending a liturgical church that follows the church calendar. (The one we currently attend does not do this.) But as I look at my own heart, I see the grave need to build in rhythms of remembrance, seasons of celebration and of humility, seasons that prevent the slow dulling of forgetfulness and distraction.
So for those of you who have been reading these resurrection posts all along, I'm sorry if you're getting tired of them. But I'm seeing that even more than writing them for you, I need them for me. I need to remember.