Well, the mountain-top experience is over. You came and heard a great Jesus-centered, uplifting, hopeful message this Easter. You left feeling you could take on whatever ugliness life will throw at you. The music was moving. Inspired. You have never heard the choirs, organists, or praise band’s sound more polished.
The fellowship was warming yet probably at a safe distance. It was good, authentic, and heartfelt, it has you thinking, “I really should come back to church. I needed this weekly spiritual boost.” Let us face it, life has been rough lately. Things are not going according to plan. Something profound and meaningful is missing in your life. Could it be that God is calling you back to him? Was this Easter service the spark?
But you have tried this before. You come back to church the Sunday after Easter, and you do not experience the same energy, the same focus. People are not as warm and friendly as they were the week before. The pastor who preached that powerful sermon is on vacation and there is a guest preacher who is not bringing that same energy.
And this text is about Doubting Thomas. Boy, does that speak to your heart? You have doubts about all this church stuff. You drift away again, hit right between the eyes with the realities of life. It will take you eight months to get up the nerve to try it again. Once the weather turns cold, and the songs turn from “Alleluia, Christ is Risen” to “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”
How can you avoid those wide swings in your connection with God? Here are a few suggestions to overcome the post-Easter blues.
Overcoming Post-Easter Blues
Connect with Other Believers Outside of Sunday only
Live in me, and I will live in you. A branch cannot produce any fruit by itself. It must stay attached to the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit unless you live in me. John 15:4
As a believer, you were not created to be a self-contained unit. We cannot exist outside of the community. The network of people who share a common confession, united mission, and deep love for the Savior creates a robust support system for each other.
When you voluntarily exclude yourself from that power source, you can see how your spiritual juices get depleted. To take John’s analogy deeper, just as a branch cut off from the vine is separated from its supply of nourishment so it cannot produce fruit, that also applies to the believer. If the Christian is not connected to God and community, they are cut off from spiritual nourishment. The longer a believer is removed from the power source, the more aggressive the efforts need to be to infuse life-giving sustenance into the parched soul.
Taking Spiritual Inventory
If you are unsure of your spiritual condition, John points out that “fruit-bearing” is an indicator of spiritual health. We need to be cautious in this area. “Fruit-bearing” has been used to point believers away from work done for them by Jesus’ death and resurrection. Bearing fruit in the life of the disciple is entirely dependent on a direct connection to Jesus. That “fruit-bearing” flows naturally out of our faith. Attachment to Jesus or abiding in Him is, therefore, the focal point, the foundation of Christian discipleship.
Receive the Love that is Waiting for You
What most likely moved your heart at the Easter service was that you heard again just how much God loved you. He loved you so completely that He gave you His most precious gift, the life of His one and only, unique son, Jesus Christ. You heard again that God reached into the fires of eternal separation and pulled us out. God values our relationship so much that God will not be satisfied with a twice-a-year family reunion. God desires to draw all people to himself for eternity, but He also wants an on-going relationship with us.
God sent Jesus to bring back all the lost sheep into the Father’s sheepfold. All people of every race, and nationality, matter to God. You matter to God if you are so secure in your skin you do not feel you need the Creator, God still loves you. If you feel you are too messed up to warrant love, you still matter to God, and you are loved by God. If you are confused with your identity, broken by life’s circumstances, tormented by the weight of your past mistakes, know that Jesus forgave all that on Calvary’s cross all because before you were formed in your mother’s womb you were known by God and you mattered to God.
If after that Easter high you are feeling lost, or you are experiencing a sense of spiritual confusion and “emotional disconnectedness” in life, Jesus, the Risen Savior, is seeking you.
Jesus will not stop searching and with relentless grace will not stop until he finds you.
Do not just drift away when your spirits are down. Do not allow the post-Easter blues to give you a feeling of hopelessness. That same Jesus you experienced on Easter is there for you every day of your life. There is power and connectivity in the Resurrection. Resurrection and Christmas joy last not just for a week, but for eternity. The Lord of the Resurrection wants to connect with you. Stop running away from Him. Instead, live in the power of the resurrection.
You have been redeemed and are loved!
Rev. B. Keith Haney is Assistant to the President for Missions, Human Care, and Stewardship of Iowa District West. He has been an ordained pastor for twenty-seven years and has served multi-ethnic urban congregations in Detroit, St. Louis, and Milwaukee. He is the author of numerous devotionals, including One Nation under God: Healing Racial Divides in America. He is married to Miriam (Bickel) Haney, and they have six children and two grandchildren.