The Sunday after Easter is traditionally known as “Low Sunday.” Some have commented that this is maybe due to it attracting very low attendance! That may be so, but the tradition actually seems to have come from the fact that Easter Sunday is “High Sunday”... the Sunday of all Sundays and the biggest celebration of the Christian Year. An Easter sermon titled “Our Amazing Day” can be found here.
After all the pageantry and celebration of Easter, the proclaiming of resurrection, the uplifting music, the signs of spring, it is inevitable that as life returns to “normal' that there would be a sense of anticlimax. Hence “Low Sunday.” In the liturgical calendar the Sundays after Easter are declared as “Easter 2”, “Easter 3” and so on... all the way through to Pentecost Sunday. So... in theory at least, every Sunday is a “Little Easter.”
One of the first disciples to come to a belief in the resurrection was Peter. Peter plays an important role in the whole drama of Easter. He sits with Jesus at the last supper. He is with Jesus when He is arrested. His denies ever having known Jesus and hears the cock crow three times. Following the resurrection, Peter is challenged, three times, by Jesus, “Do you love me?” On the day of Pentecost Peter is the first to stand up and begin preaching a gospel about the forgiveness and love of Jesus. Peter becomes the leader of the Christian community in Jerusalem.
There are two books in the New Testament that bear Peter's name. In our Sundays following Easter and journeying towards Pentecost, here at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church we'll be taking a look at some of the passages contained in his first letter.
First Peter addresses a Christian community that faced considerable trials. He calls them to embrace a close relationship with God and live in a way that demonstrated God's faithfulness. He sees Christian people as people chosen by God to live in obedience to Jesus Christ and so reveal God's love for all the world. This they are not to do in isolation, but within a community defined by their openness to the empowering and leading of God's Holy Spirit.
In verse 7 of chapter One Peter speaks about “faith, being more precious than gold.” Such a faith will enrich their good times and enable them to travel through the hard times. He never suggests that life as a Christian is meant to be easy. In his own journey of discipleship Peter had experienced both high times and low times. Though Jesus described him as having a rock like faith upon which His church would be built, Peter knew what it was to travel a rocky road!
At the end of the day, the journey was worth it. The love he had discovered in Jesus Christ truly was worth more than gold. Let us pray that in our own faith journeys that we reach a place where we make a similar discovery.
For some music “More Precious Than Silver” performed by Leann Albrecht; written by Lynn Deshazo
Rev. Adrian J. Pratt B.D.