Happy Easter. I realized the other day that Easter doesn’t get nearly the same amount of press as Christmas does. Christmas has the presents, cool songs, festive decorations, and a wonderful story about a baby in a manger. Easter…well you’ve got chocolate eggs, those nasty marshmallow peeps and a story that is a little more gruesome. A man, wrongly accused, beaten, then suffering through one of the worst ways to die: crucifixion. If you’ve never read about the crucifixion process, check it out. It will give you a new perspective on just how terrible Jesus’ death was.
Christmas has the beautiful story of God’s gift to the world: a baby. Easter has a dark story about the destruction of that gift. On Easter Sunday there is supposed to be that celebration of the “rest of the story” – the resurrection. Jesus rising from the grave and later ascending to heaven. Unfortunately that story is often lost in the Easter clothes, the once-a-year church goers and the family get-togethers that seem to over shadow the whole Jesus thing.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, I’m a little cynical when it comes to Easter…actually when it comes to holidays. I hate the holidays; all of them. Even Christmas…and the 4th of July…and Thanksgiving (especially Thanksgiving, but I’ll save that for another post). The commercialism. The fake “love” that everyone shares. The empty rituals and traditions. It’s like we’re going through the motions but we’re missing the point. Like a child whose been given a phone with no battery in it so he can pretend to be like mommy and daddy but he isn’t really doing anything.
God sends to earth a light…a way out of the darkness and mess that humans have made. We commemorate the life and death of this gift by spending money we don’t have, eating excess food we don’t need and making some paltry charity donation because ‘tis the season. I think if we really want to celebrate Christmas and Easter it should be a 365/24/7 event that starts with us following Jesus’ command in Matthew 22:39 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
So put the chocolate bunny down, step away from the honey baked ham, and go find someone to serve.