Religious for a Day? O, Where is Thy Sting?
Happy Easter! Day of celebration, colored eggs, and chocolate, right? A day of bunnies and ham. For some, a day of worship, and discussion of Christ and his resurrection. A day when pews will be filled with sharply dressed people who seldom grace the building with their presence, smiling as though it’s the most natural experience, even though inside they tremble at the unfamiliarity of it all.
Ever wonder why?
Several articles have come out on the web over the past few days, like this one from NPR, citing the Pagan roots of Easter. Some have expressed concern over how the traditional American holiday has very little relation to the resurrection itself.
Do you understand the implication of that? We’re claiming man-made tradition as gospel, perverting and distorting the true meaning of Christ’s sacrifice. Just like we do at Christmas, we gloss over or romanticize that epic truth that we should all be relating and sharing, the truth that for some has turned into nothing more than a child’s story.
Every year, I see someone post frustration at this over social media. Stolen pews, crowded halls, messy kids–all the angst created from people not accustomed to the order and seriousness of the service.
But Christians? I wonder if it could possibly OUR fault! Is it possible they don’t know any better because we haven’t taught them any better?
This magnificent story, that Christ came to the world to save sinners, is one we should be sharing every day, with everyone. We should be declaring Romans 5:8 to everyone, everyday:
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Instead of celebrating the “Passion of the Christ” once a year, we should be teaching “Passion for Christ” throughout the year. We should celebrate his resurrection every day!
And how do we teach it? We SHOW it!
- Sitting in pews, barely mumbling words with the songleader
- Tearing our contribution check while the cup is being passed around
- Checking Facebook or email during the sermon
- Complaining about the service at a local restaurant as we all enjoy a “fellowship” (a.k.a. gossipfest) meal
Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…
What if, instead of putting all our time and energy into some big production for one day, we put the same effort into spreading the word about the death, burial, and resurrection every single day of the year? Maybe it’s difficult to convince those in the world of Christ’s great sacrifice because we haven’t convinced them of the sting of his death. They see no need for the removal of that sting because they don’t feel it.
Think about it. If you see a funeral announcement for a complete stranger in the paper, not knowing any of the circumstance, do you feel a pang? Probably not. But if you know the details, you might be brought to tears by the death of a stranger.
So, before we judge all those who pop in to church today for that once a year service, maybe we should consider whether or not we’ve done enough to evangelize them for the remainder of the year.