I have to say that my Lent was not as disciplined as I had hoped. I was planning on cutting back on time in the blogosphere and giving up eBay and library reserves so I would have more time to read particular books that had been sitting for a while. Alas, during Lent several blog controversies erupted that I just had to follow online. While I refrained from selling on eBay, I did make several purchases, due to the release of a new wave of gaming pieces that I collect. And I didn't read all the books I had hoped to read, though I did get through quite a few. (I also now have a huge backlog of reserves at the library - over 100 items, with several dozen awaiting me or in transit already.)
I also have to say that Holy Week was a little exhausting, both physically and emotionally. After services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Saturday vigil and Easter morning, I was pretty beat and also experiencing emotional whiplash. (It was also my younger son's 2nd birthday yesterday as well, so we had a combined Easter/birthday dinner with family.) As an Enneagram Seven, I realized anew that Good Friday in particular is a challenge for me. My inclination is to want to have fun and to take joy in life, but Good Friday means that I need to recognize the gravity of Christ's suffering, pain and death, as well as the suffering of the world around us.
So after this Lenten season of refraining from "alleluias," it was a joy to be able to celebrate and declare, "Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!" It is certainly true that we don't fully appreciate the joy of the resurrection without walking through the crucifixion first. At the National Pastors Convention a few months ago, Lauren Winner made a passing remark about how our society tends to deny or minimize death, so we don't really understand how significant the Christian claim of resurrection and new life is.
Ellen and I have been pleased to see how our older son has been engaging the Lenten/Easter journey. We had a Lent banner with readings and felt ornaments each night, and our bedtime Bible story book just "happened" to be timed perfectly for Holy Week and Easter, with stories falling on just the right days, even though we hadn't planned it that way in advance. Josiah really seems to be grasping the uniqueness of the Christian story, that Jesus triumphed over death in a way different from Obi-Wan Kenobi's postmortem appearances in Star Wars.
(Side note: One of our friends from church, Michelle, has started babysitting for us, and Josiah is enamored with her. Just before our Saturday evening Easter vigil service, Josiah told me, "I like Jesus more than anyone." I said, "That's great." Then he said, "But I like Michelle more than Jesus." Oh, boy.)
At any rate, I'm so glad that we are now on this side of the resurrection, both in this particular church year as well as in salvation history in general. And I'm thrilled that our five-year-old can exult with us, "He's risen!" He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!