I have an old scab which last bothered me about two years ago, but has never completely healed, and for reasons not perfectly clear to me, it was painfully re-opened today.
OK, thatâ€™s a metaphor. The reality behind the metaphor is that I easily get pretty upset with the Christian sub-culture when I see how little we make of Easter.
Think about this. We devote nearly two full months to the preparation and celebration of Christmas. We completely empty our social and program calendars from the Sunday before Christmas to the Sunday after New Yearâ€™s so that we can celebrate and travel and be together as families.
But what about Easter? Do we cancel anything – even one event, one class, one game, one commitment – to give ourselves time to prepare for and celebrate what is really the central holiday of our faith? Two years ago I insisted that the classes that meet at Trinity shut down during Easter week. This year I forgot to do that – so on they go. Next year Iâ€™ll remember – but Iâ€™ll probably get some resistance.
Now you will argue that it is our culture that makes so much of Christmas and so little of Easter. And thatâ€™s true. But what law says that we have to agree with the cultureâ€™s emphasis? In fact if weâ€™re only celebrating Christmas because the culture does we might as well stop, because our culture as a whole has very little idea what Christmas is about and very little Christ in Christmas. We would show more integrity if we boycotted Christmas and made sacrifices to be able to celebrate Easter.
Now donâ€™t get me wrong. I like Christmas, I love the Incarnation, and I think it is well worth celebrating. In fact I think believers ought to celebrate Christmas and be involved in all the hoopla because we have the message of truth behind all the fluff – the truth of â€˜God with us!â€™.
But what about Easter? What about â€˜God made him who had no sin to be sin for us?â€™ What about â€˜God demonstrates his love for us in this – while we were still sinners Christ died for us?â€™ What about â€œHe is not here – he is risen as he said!â€ What about â€˜This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him?â€™
Isnâ€™t the truth of Easter worthy of as much of our time, effort and energy as the truth of Christmas? Isnâ€™t it worth setting aside some time in the next ten days to think and pray and meditate and to join with others in rejoicing about these things? Isnâ€™t it worth taking something off your plate so you can celebrate Jesus with heart, soul, mind and strength?
But itâ€™s just a rant – don’t let me interrupt your busy Spring schedule.