Have you ever noticed how we go all out at Christmas and not so much for Easter? This year it has been on my mind, and frankly, I am little ashamed of myself. Where’s the joy?
Although I have to admit, we are joyful this Easter. We have a new addition to our family. Jude Paul came into the world last week at 8 lbs and 20 1/2 inches long. Unfortunately, he lives in Texas so we haven’t met face-to-face, but we will be visiting soon.
This is our third grandchild. Jude made Grace (almost 3) a “big sister” and he joins his cousin Isaac who is almost 11. If you ever meet my grandkids you will understand why I have a magnet on my fridge that says, “I could be more modest if it weren’t for my awesome grandkids.” Sorry for the personal note, I couldn’t resist.
So back to why Easter takes a back seat to Christmas.
During the Christmas holiday, we have that warm fuzzy feeling. The lights, hot chocolate, and candlelight services are just a few of the traditions that make us feel that way.
In reality, these things have little to do with the birth of our Savior. They aren’t wrong and do add to the holiday, but sometimes I think we romanticize Christmas and forget the sacrifice. Jesus taking human form and living among us was a sacrifice of epic proportions.
It was also a difficult time for Mary and Joseph. I am sure Mary was judged and criticized for her supposed scandalous behavior that resulted in a pregnancy before her marriage to Joseph was consummated. On the other hand, many pitied (or laughed at) Joseph because they believed he was tricked into a marriage with Mary.
Since this young woman gave birth soon after arriving at Bethlehem, we can only surmise she had been in labor during the trip. They end up in a cave and put Jesus to sleep in an animal’s feeding trough. There is little to romanticize. It was not warm and cozy, but probably dark and damp.
Then there is Easter. We don’t romanticize this holiday, in fact, we almost seem bored.
I often sense the excitement at a Christmas Eve service, but not so much as we exit church on Easter morning. We scurry out to make our reservation time or to take the ham out of the oven.
Why aren’t we reflecting on the enormity of what we just celebrated? Come on, death is defeated; Jesus is done with that hideous cross, and believers’ salvation is secure.
Seeing Jesus after the resurrection inspired different emotions in the people who saw Him, but certainly, never disinterest or apathy. Can we say the same? What are our emotions on Easter morning? Do we wake up excited and thankful or do we drag ourselves out of bed for sunrise service wishing the sun came up a little later?
I know too many of my Easters have come and gone without tears of sadness for the crucifixion
or the praise and joy because Jesus arose!
Both should be part of this sacred holiday.
I am praying for God to take away my feelings of indifference and to fill me with joy and wonder as I acknowledge this spectacular event. I want to appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus’ entire life, and truly celebrate the joy of victory.
WISHING A JOYFUL EASTER TO ALL!