Last Sunday we celebrated the glorious news of Easter: Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed! Sanctuaries overflowed as churches experienced their annual, high attendance Sunday.
The liturgical calendar calls the week AFTER Easter Low Sunday. Historians believe the name originated in contrast to the great festival of Easter. Following the celebration of the Resurrection, churches returned to the “low” or ordinary routine of worship.
Church pastors know better, however. Low attendance puts the LOW in Low Sunday! Easter marks the high water mark for worship. The Sunday AFTER Easter ebbs at low tide. Some congregations may even experience negative numbers!
However, we continue to celebrate the Season of Easter this week. Over 40 days, the risen Lord appeared to his disciples. Mary encountered Jesus in the garden. Two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus. Paul reported that Christ appeared to Simon Peter, the Twelve, and more than 500 followers at one time.
According to John, one man missed Jesus’ appearance to the other apostles on Easter night. Unconvinced by second-hand reports, “Doubting” Thomas announced he would only be convinced by touching Jesus’ wounds.
On the Sunday AFTER Easter, Jesus once again appeared in the Upper Room. He confronted Thomas’ doubts and displayed his wounded hands, feet, and side. The disciple knelt and professed: My Lord and my God!
Christ responded: Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
It’s a good thing that Thomas decided to attend church the Sunday AFTER Easter. Otherwise, he might have missed the Risen Lord.
On Low Sunday, we continue to celebrate the Easter good news: Christ is risen, indeed!