It always catches me a little off guard whenever someone asks me if I’m ready for Easter. Because it seems precisely the wrong way to relate to Easter to try to be ready for it. The whole impact of Easter is humanity’s utter lack of preparation, the sheer impossibility of imagining such a thing, much less arranging tables and chairs in anticipation.
Easter should surprise us and catch us flat-footed, the same way it did the women and men who first experienced it. Luke’s story of the two disciples encountered by the risen Jesus en route to Emmaus is so funny because they didn’t even know they were allowed to imagine such a thing, so they completely missed it–until it was gone. Even then, though, it wasn’t too late. Because it’s never too late.
But back to ready. If we’re getting ready for Easter we’re doing it wrong. I think the way we get ready for Easter is to get ready for Passion and Good Friday. If we can allow ourselves to give ourselves over completely to the story at that stage, as members of the crowd who call for crucifixion, as disciples who beg off and disappear into the masses, as authorities protecting Pax Romana, then we will be quite ready for the announcement that none of that matters more than resurrection.