Holy Sugar High

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“Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said, ‘Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.’”

— Luke 6:20a, 21a

As our 50 Days of Fabulous exploration of Luke’s Sermon on the Plain continues, we move into the “hunger” phase. Now, for many of us, it’s hard to think about hunger in light of the Easter feast. I mean, we’re full, both spiritually and physically.

We’re still reveling in the warm glow of the resurrection, reflecting on the images, the sights and sounds and smells, of a glorious festal celebration. In unguarded moments we find ourselves humming the hymn Jesus Christ is Risen Today and announcing the previously forbidden word “Alleluia!” to anyone who will listen.

Perhaps we’re still digesting the fancy feast that followed the eucharistic feast. The succulent lamb, the coconut cream pie, the Peeps. We are sated by joy, by food, by a sense of community. And it feels good to hold on to the metaphorical and literal sugar high of Easter for as long as we can.

By Daniel Schwen – Own work, CC BY 3.0

But inevitably it all comes crashing down. You can’t sustain the high forever, no matter how hard you try. And you’re left with the same old you, staring back in the mirror. We talk in lofty rhetoric about transformation and new life and resurrection but in the end we can’t help but think, “Is that it?”

In this sense, Easter Day is not unlike the feeling a child has after opening every last Christmas gift. No matter the abundance, after the wrapping on the last present has been torn open, we’re left with a feeling of emptiness as we plaintively ask, “Is that it?”

Which is precisely why embracing these 50 days of Easter is so important. Because even when our supply of jelly beans dips to the one flavor we can’t abide (hello, “buttered popcorn”), Easter continues. This is not “it” any more than “it” is finished on Good Friday.

We tap into the joy of this season long after the “high” wears off. And we seek after the joy of the Lord that abides rather than the fleeting happiness of a feast that is ultimately and quickly cleared away.


This week’s author is the Rev. Tim Schenck, rector of the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, Massachusetts and creator of the wildly popular Lenten devotion Lent Madness. When not tending to his parish, drinking coffee, or blogging at Clergy Confidential, he’s likely hanging out with his family that includes his wife Bryna, two teenage sons Benedict and Zachary, his dog Delilah, and a ferret named Mimi. Friend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @FatherTim.

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