There’s no reason to be surprised about our confusion about living after Lent, living beyond Easter. Consider the responses of people during the days following the first Resurrection day.
There are moments of sheer delight.
Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. It was empty. She went to find the disciples. She ran into Jesus on the way, first mistaking him for a gardener, then knowing the voice. She was ecstatic. Like the people who celebrate Easter with big events, with great smiles. Like the people who are bubbling from the freedom. The people who thought they were dead, thought their lives were over. Easter is a reminder of everything wrong gone right.
There are moments of disbelief.
The disciples didn’t think they could trust what the women said. The disciples didn’t think they could believe the people from the walk to Emmaus. Thomas couldn’t believe the other disciples. The people like Elijah who have had an amazing experience but get up the next morning and everything is normal, everything is worse than normal. The people who worked hard getting everything ready for the Easter celebration at church, hours and days and weeks. And they walk out after the Sunday services and the right rear tire is flat.
There are moments of explanation.
Two of the disciples headed out from Jerusalem on that first Sunday, full of confusion about what had happened to Jesus. They were so wrapped up with the introspection that when Jesus started walking with them, they didn’t recognize him. As they walked toward Emmaus, Jesus walked through the whole Old Testament, from Moses through Jeremiah, Isaiah, Micah, and the rest. He traced the threads that pointed to him. That kind of teaching likely happened often after his resurrection.
What’s so clear in the responses of the people who knew Jesus first is that they responded in different ways at different speeds. And so do we.