I’m Not Good At Easter

I admit it. I don't like Easter services.

 

Seriously. I’m not good at Easter. I think the issue is that I’m not good at collective churchism. Or “corporate worship” (what a terrible phrase) or whatever.  I don’t feel the big group dynamic thing. The bigger the group, the higher up my walls go. I guess partly it’s a generational thing. We Millennials resist anything that feels inauthentic, that feels staged. And church, for me, always feels contrived.

 

Even when I like the people in the crowd, even when I like the people on the stage, even when the music isn’t half-bad and the sermon is decent – even when all those churchy stars align to create the perfect “mood”, I don’t feel it. And it makes me feel like some sort of atheistic robot.

 

Especially when the big Christian holidays roll around. When the cliches, and the visual aids, and the pinnable crafts, and the old hymns come rolling out in spades I retreat back into my shell even further like the little introverted turtle that I can be sometimes.

 

Because I don’t feel the whole Mob Mentality aspect of church, I feel terribly out of place during Easter (and Christmas).  Everyone is posting deep, meaningful facebook status, and blog posts about Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday and it all sort of makes me wrinkle my forehead.

 

It’s not that I don’t find meaning in these events in spiritual history, themselves. I do. But strictly in a more personal, private fashion. I would MUCH rather stay home for Easter Sunday to meditate and reflect on the “reason for the season”. I’d MUCH rather find a quiet spot of spring sunshine to sit in and close my eyes and just . . . be.

 

It’s to the point that I dread Easter services. By Palm Sunday my skin is starting to crawl at the familiarity and canned nature of it all and I’m already trying to make excuses for staying home the next week. After all, they’re just going to (with all the sincerest well-meaning in the world) rehash the same old thing – with a heavy bent on Resurrection rhetoric for the visitors.

 

I used to feel hugely guilty for not liking church on Easter (or church in general). But I’ve slowly come to terms with the fact that God is okay with me not wanting to be there. In recent years the church (and society at large) has finally started to admit that it’s okay to be an introvert, that’s there’s value in it – and that most of business (and church) is set up for the other sort, the extroverts.

 

Even so, we feel the pressure, the expectations to be in the audience on Easter Sunday. We find just enough grace to make allowances if you don’t do new Easter dresses or baskets or egg hunts, but you’ve at least gotta show up for the show if you love Jesus at all. I mean, he DIED for you. The least you can do is sing a few victory songs and listen to one person retell the story again. Right?

 

I don’t know. As one who appreciated escaping the crowd sometimes, I think Jesus would be okay with me skipping Easter services for the rest of my life. I think he’d rather I “celebrate” the resurrection in a way that I could internalize and appreciate it.  I think he’d sit with me there in the sunshine.

 

But, we’ll probably end up going to church this Sunday. And I’ll try very had to not look like a moody teenager (pretty sure I rarely pull this off). And I’ll try to see past the innate familiarity of the subject and find some meaning in the whole process. And I’ll try not to be bored off my you-know-what during the sermon.

 

And then I’ll come home and try to actually worship.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. You don’t feel the mob mentality at Easter? Good for you, Jessica! :) The mob welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. They were feeling the “spirit” that day. But by the end of the week, the mob mentality had Jesus crucified.

  2. It’s fascinating to hear your perspective on this.

    I tend to be more favorable about the idea of going, but I am also an introvert and find appeal in what you say about hanging out with Jesus in the sunshine too.

  3. I appreciate your inspiring confident. I hope you’ll have good time in the church doing pray. Since long time I’m also running away from church and worship. Coincidentally you’ve inspired me to visit church and worship as well. I believe by following God mentioned ways a relaxed and peaceful life can be livable . I’m looking forward to do that. Thanks.

  4. Even before we left the institution we never went to Easter service. We wanted to have a good day. :)

  5. Yes. Yes. Yes. The local church has an Easter pageant outdoors. My husband volunteers my son is wondering why I don’t want to go. He’s begging to go…wants to see his friends. After reading this post I will now go with a better attitude. Thank you…

  6. In some ways, I really relate to this. Given my current lack of church attendance, I keep thinking I should go this Sunday. I’ve never missed an Easter service before, that I can think of. Maybe during college but I wasn’t walking with God at that time. Part of me wants to worship with everyone and the other part of me thinks I’ll connect more if I do my own thing at home. It’s good to know I’m not alone in this.

    • I guess everybody’s different. I don’t “worship with everyone”. Not in the manufactured church service sense. I’m pretty much just waiting for the formalities to end so we can all stand around, mingle, and be the church again.

  7. My favorite part of our Easter service is where we dance in the street. That is the best way for everyone, young, old, introvert, extrovert, single, married, child, adult, to join together and know that in spite of the differences we may have, we are still one body of Christ, and we are face to face as we move our feet! We have Easter brunch together, then the littles have an egg hunt (gotta get ’em some sugar buzz?!) and then we block off two ends of our street, turn on music, and DANCE. For a long time. It’s a wonderful reminder of our future hope. Some day, Jessica, even though I’ve never met you in person, I want to dance with you in heaven : )

  8. As 33-year-old introvert who hates crowds, I have to throw it out there that I LOVE my huge hipster church and I LOVE corporate worship, and I can’t wait until tomorrow morning to go to the crack-o-dawn Easter service. I’m always sad when people say they don’t enjoy corporate worship–I do–I just really really do–I didn’t always, but now I really, really do. Really.

    I hope you have a good Easter. :)

  9. I understand, lady. I do. Totally. I even asked my husband last night if he would take the kids to church with his brother so I could be home alone with God.

  10. Uggg….I always hope (I really should stop after 26 years of Easter in the same church) that there will not be an alter call. An emotionally fueled message and then the call to give all you have to the God who gave it all. Slam there goes the door. Why is the message aimed at those who only come once a year hoping that maybe this year the message will grab them and they will be there every Sunday there after. Why can’t we give a message to everyone who comes ever flippin’ Sunday. I just am maybe a bit burnt out on the “requiredness” of church. Blah. I was glad to eat that salty caramel chocolate egg I was gifted and a glass of wine at the end of the day (the best part in my opinion).

Trackbacks

  1. […] blogger that I follow, Jessica, over at Bohemian Bowmans, wrote her perspective on why she doesn’t like Easter. She mentions her generation (she’s a Millennial, I’m at the tail end of Generation X) […]

  2. […] all kinds of feeling like I’ve been dealt a blow by Easter karma. After I was all “I don’t want to go to church on Easter” various members of the fam were struck down by lightening a virus. Though I’ve yet to […]