Do you have plans on July 5th? How about the day after Christmas? Most of the really big days on the calendar are preceded with quite a build-up and followed with some kind of a let-down. It happens at Easter. Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten Season. Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday. Good Friday gives way to Resurrection Sunday. Now what? After the special activities and services, the quiet reflection and glorious worship … what are we to do now?
It seems to me that the story doesn’t end on Easter; it’s just beginning. We don’t camp out at the middle cross. We don’t pitch a tent at the empty tomb. The stone wasn’t rolled away so that Jesus could get out; it was rolled away so that we could see in … so that we could tell the story.
Everybody loves a good story. Can you think of a better one than the one about sacrifice, redemption, and love? Everybody loves a happy ending. Can you think of a better one than the one where evil is trounced and second chances are in abundance?
In Luke 24, we read about the two people walking away from Jerusalem on Resurrection Sunday afternoon. They seem to know part of the story but cannot make sense of it. They have heard rumors of the unbelievable … and they’re not sure they can believe what they’ve heard.
There are a lot of people like that. They know enough about the story to wonder, to speculate. Like those two travelers, all the pieces won’t fit until Jesus becomes real. He did become real to those two on the road to Emmaus. The seven miles they had just walked was covered a great deal faster on the return trip. What was the difference? They had a story; they had their story to tell. The truth of Easter changed their lives. How can you not tell such a story?
So, I guess the answer to “Now what?” is pretty clear. If Jesus has become real to you, you know what to do. Somebody needs to hear your story.