Why Easter Joy Belongs to the Melancholy

Joy and Sorrow in Holy Week

The Journey through the days of Holy Week can be a bit emotionally disorienting. From the celebration of Christ as King on Palm Sunday to the darkness of good Friday, the anticipation on Saturday, the joy of Easter and all the other stops along the way. It can feel like there is immense pressure to think or feel a certain way and all this pressure actually accomplishes is to distract us from the wok God is actually doing in our midst.

As we walk the journey of Holy Week, consider this encouragement from a recent Christianity Today article.

Like many exposed to various stripes of evangelicalism, it’s easy for me to place a high premium on subjective experience, emotiveness, and outward expression. As such, it’s easy for me to fear that my perceived lack of joy at Easter—or any other time of year, for that matter—is due to weakness and sinfulness. While that may be true at times, Newman challenges the belief that it is always true, rejecting the lie that “since it is the Christian’s duty to rejoice evermore, they would rejoice better if they never sorrowed and never travailed with righteousness.”

However, worrying about my own lack of “appropriate” emotion is not the solution and, in fact, may be part of the problem. When I refuse to let go of disappointment with my own brokenness and that of the world, I fail to recognize not only “the languor and oppression of our old selves” that persists this side of heaven but also the reality of the new life given to me. The solution is not to emote more or blot out the sorrows of this world but rather to turn in prayer, not inward, but upward.

The full article will hopefully provide encouragement and guidance for you as you reflect on the gospel story of Holy Week.

Ethan Tonne