Looking back over the Lenten season, I wish I had been more intentional about the time to reflect and re-center myself on Christ. However, the biggest difference Lent made for me can be summed up in one word: awareness. So even though I was not faithful to carry out the fast I chose, God still was at work within me to make me more receptive to his Spirit. Every week, I would read, hear, or see something that pointed my attention directly to God.
Easter Sunday was the pinnacle of this. At the beginning of our first Episcopal Easter service, I was not having any deep, spiritual Easter thoughts. On the contrary, I was thinking about how I disliked the fact that this was the Sunday when a lot of people showed up out of a displaced sense of obligation. I was bemoaning the fact that people felt the need to dress up for Easter, as if the risen Christ was going to pass out awards for the best-dressed attendees.
I was in no mood for celebration and chose not to get my act together. Instead, I would present myself to God, as is. Not long into the liturgy, I forgot my judgmental grievances and began to see Christ crucified, but alive and victorious. The songs, the prayers, the sermon, and the Eucharist each played a part in making me aware that this day was about something much more than my pet peeves.
Once again, I felt that God had shown me that worship is a grace act that God initiates. Once I chose to participate, my blinders quickly fell. My deadened senses were resurrected to smell, taste, see and hear the God of the universe, which is why resurrection Sunday is still resonating within me.