Before Christmas I saw some people complaining about the trees in the malls already being up and decorations being put out before Thanksgiving. Whereas I agree that it does seem to dilute the Thanksgiving Holiday to already have “Jingle Bells” playing rather than “We Gather Together” and seems a little rushed. However, I said that to me I didn’t mind it, as it was a reminder even to those who were just trying to make an extra buck by selling their Christmas merchandise early that we were celebrating the birth of Jesus!
For the past few days there have been a lot of “Bible” movies. On one “uplifting” channel the line-up was the Story of Ruth, Solomon and The Book of Esther. While these movies are being shown, and I am by no means criticizing them, they need to make money, but the commercials were from places like Party City, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. and each was saying “Get more Easter here”, “Your Easter Party starts here”, you get my drift. At first I wasn’t paying any attention, it kind of slid right on past me as I made a grocery list and tried to clean out the fridge, but suddenly I took notice and it really chapped my backside.
Christmas time is a whole different feeling, everyone celebrates a birth and we have birthday parties and a birth represents new life. We know that Jesus came into the world by leaving Heaven where He was a King to being a babe in a manger born to inexperienced young people with one purpose in mind and that is what we honor at “Easter” time or as I prefer to refer to it, “Resurrection” Sunday! I view Easter as a more solemn time and somehow bunnies, baby chicks and candy kind of seem a trite way to honor a death OR a resurrection.
I always loved the grand drama productions or musical presentations we did at the church, and you knew that on Sunday you would sing “The Old Rugged Cross”, “Up From the Grave He Arose” and of course “HE LIVES!” If you were blessed enough to have two singers that could sing the Sandi Patti, Larnel Harris version of “I’ve Just Seen Jesus” your spirit would soar as you imagined the empty tomb and the resurrected Jesus Christ!
Jesus is a personal friend of mine and while most of the time He has to have His arm around my shoulder so that He can put His hand over my mouth I think He loves me best! Oh come on, let me by with it, I’m the one that is writing… you can say the same thing and it will be just as true. I am not trying to change the way you think or celebrate anything I am offering you my opinion and as I have said before, opinions are like…navels, yeah that’s it navels, and everybody has one!
I did not say this to demean anyone or the way you choose to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and however you honor Him is good as long as you celebrate the reason for the season. Lots of people do it with new outfits, which I assume signifies being new, hey I don’t even know what it means…we didn’t have new outfits because my parents said there were people in the church that couldn’t afford anything new and they didn’t want them to feel bad… so I got over it.
This year the celebration at our church was simply wonderful, starting with the Good Friday service where we received Communion and our Pastor prayed for every person in the church, then this morning the music and worship were the best ever! Then today at lunch, since it would have been my dad’s 97th birthday, we talked about him and then sang a rounding chorus of Happy Birthday to you, knowing he was listening in from heaven!
I hope you enjoyed your day and that thinking about the sacrifice Jesus made for you gives you hope that you can have a brand new tomorrow! Happy Easter!