Slow Down

May 2, 2022 | Dustin+ Messer

I look forward to very few holidays like Easter, and I’m particularly excited to get to this Eastertide. I’m excited to see my new daughter in her first easter dress. I’m excited to engage in this year’s Easter festivities . There is so much to look forward to, I’m having to remind myself to slow down.

I think we’re all in this place. The closer we get to Easter, the more Christians will be tempted to rush to it. This, however, would be a mistake. I’m currently re-reading a book by one of my heroes in the faith, the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. In his book ‘Death on a Friday Afternoon,” Neuhaus+ implores us to go through Holy Week slowly, intentionally, reverently. Of the Paschal Triduum (the three days before Easter, marked by Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil) he says:

“By these three days all the world is called to attention. Everything that is and ever was and ever will be, the macro and the micro, the galaxies beyond number and the microbes beyond notice – everything is mysteriously entangled with what happened, with what happens, in these days. Every human life, conceived from eternity and destined to eternity, here finds its story truly told. In this killing that some call senseless we are brought to our senses. Here we find out who we most truly are because here is the One who is what we are called to be. The derelict cries, ‘Come, follow me.’ Follow him there? We recoil. We close our ears. We hurry on to Easter. But we will not know what to do with Easter’s light if we shun the friendship of the darkness that is wisdom’s way to light.”

If we rush to Easter, we will ironically miss the full beauty of Easter. Let us mark Lent well this year. Let’s sit with our Lord Jesus Christ in the night, that we might rise with him in the morning.

The Rev. Dr. Dustin Messer serves as a priest at All Saints Dallas in downtown Dallas, TX. Additionally, Dustin is a regular contributor to The Gospel Coalition and teaches in the department of religious and theological studies at The King's College in New York, NY. A graduate of Boyce College and Covenant Theological Seminary, Dustin earned a doctorate in ethics at La Salle University and went on to complete a fellowship at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Along with his work in local parish ministry, Dustin has served in positions of leadership for a number renewal organizations within the broader Anglican church, including the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC). Dustin is married to his college sweetheart, Whitney, and they have one daughter, Pennilyn Grace.


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