Friday, April 11, 2014

Why all the fuss?

I must confess that at this time of the Church year, namely Lent and Easter, I feel a let down.  I mean, we celebrate Christmas with all sorts of things: presents; decorations; concerts of music; Christmas-themed movies; baking; parties; Christmas trees, and on and on and on.  The "season" now tends to start in September, and is done on December 26th.  Of course, anyone that knows my wife and I know that we continue to celebrate Christmas up to Epiphany.  Yet I find myself wondering why the Church and why Christians don't celebrate the Resurrection as much as they celebrate Christmas.  It perplexes me that we don't.  We have our observances here in our home, with decorating (two boxes of decorations, which includes Easter baskets - but not the garage-full of boxes for Christmas decorations).  We do the coloring of the Easter eggs, and usually spend the day with Lorrie's family egg hunting and having a good dinner.  But that's it.  No "Easter Cards" to mail out to family.  No "Easter tree" to buy at the corner lot.  No "Easter carols" to sing around the nursing home.  No "Easter Black Friday" to get things at 50% off.

But why is this?  Why is it that the Church and Christians do not put such a celebratory emphasis on Easter as they do Christmas?  We don't KNOW for sure the date of Jesus' birth (most scholars put in in the spring of about 6 or 3 BC), and Easter itself changes dates because it's tied into the full moon and Passover.  But that really isn't a factor.

Some may argue that we must celebrate Christmas more because it is the Gift of God's Grace made man.  It is when we observe the birth of the Christ-child in a stable over 2000 years ago.  But I would argue that if we did not have the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, then there'd be no faith, no church.  There is a great hymn with the lyric "Had Christ that once was slain, ne'er burst his three-day prison, our faith had been in vain."

I feel that we MUST celebrate Easter with as much fervor and depth of feeling as we do Christmas.  Granted, we don't have a "It's a Wonderful Life - Easter edition", which would have spring flowers instead of snow.  But Easter is the REASON we celebrate at all.  Let's face it, had Christ NOT risen from the dead, his followers (who had dispersed after his death) would not have proclaimed it in the streets of Jerusalem, and died horribly for that very reason.  The movement that eventually took over the Roman Empire would not have happened.

So let's CELEBRATE EASTER!  He is ALIVE!  He is NOT here!  He is RISEN!

Soli Deo Gloria

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