Monday, April 02, 2012
'I don't do Easter' ?
A man I know - a life-long Christian - said last week that he 'doesn't do easter' and is taking the day off as a holiday.
What is going on?
Resurrection Sunday is the greatest day in all of history, the day when God's new creation bursts into the old, the day that reminds us that the tomb IS empty, and Jesus was and is truly King not only of Israel but over the whole cosmos as the Father raises him up from death through the earth-shattering power of the Holy Spirit.
Its the day that truly started our movement, The Way, the Messiah-People, little-Christs. No resurrection - no Christianity.
Take out the resurrection narratives from the Gospels and you have no New Testament.
If the story ends on Friday. Jesus is a pretender to the throne, a false Messiah, a false prophet, a fake.
Take out the resurrection and we are the most pitiable, pathetic, deluded people who ever walked the planet (1 Corinthians 15).
Resurrection Sunday is the day when the whole Church, more than any other day, more than any other Sunday for that matter, lets off a raucous roar of praise and worship, raising the rafters of every church building, worship hall, tabernacle, beach, park, housing estate and meadow and springs into action freshly energised by the life-giving power of the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead.
And yet... there are Christians this week who are taking easter off...
Am I being legalistic? Am I withholding grace? Am I being judgmental?
I'm sure there are many good reasons for not gathering this next Sunday: and yet, there will be people who are earning less than 80 pence a day, people who have lost everyone in guerilla attacks, people who have just been diagnosed with cancer, women who are abused by those who claim to love them, men who are reforming alcoholics and drug-dealers who will somehow, be able to bring themselves to be a part of that raucous praise party, celebrating the fact that Jesus is alive.
Maybe they won't all get into a 'church building', but wherever they are, they are going to worship Jesus and share his Good news with those around them.
And maybe that's what disturbs me most - It's not that some Christians won't be stepping foot into a church building... it WOULD be narrow-minded to think that its only inside the cathedral that God will be found...
Millions of people will be worshipping God this Sunday as they waterski, go for picnics, speak to prostitutes, cradle their sick child, and to all of those people I raise my glass of Shloer...
But that there are people, like that man who are purposively taking the day 'off'...
Christians who just don't 'do Easter'...