Friday, April 2, 2010

Peeps & An Empty Tomb

Voices seem to get lower, people avoid eye contact, tears fill orbital sockets, and everyone gets highly emotional. A somber spirit seems to control people this time of year, this one week; some refer to as Easter, others as resurrection week. Jokes are not readily accepted and light is the furthest mood from reality. Seems like this time of year things change, people change, and mental storage capacities change. In the posthumous words of Heath Ledger lost in a deep, dark, twisted role, “Why so serious?” People are repulsed by the pagan tradition of the Easter bunny and all the commercialism this holiday holds that, they strongly believe, ultimately misses the reason, the point of the holiday. They teach their children that this is a HUGE day in which Jesus was resurrected from the grave and to resist the worldly celebrations and traditions. One day if I have children I pray that they have a good time with the Easter bunny and eggs and peeps (gross!) and look to me and say, “Daddy, why is everyone making such a big deal?”

Internally I am restless about my own inquisition to this holiday. Not because I don’t know what the celebration is, but because I don’t buy into all the hype, I don’t get why everyone makes such a big deal out of this on this one week or one day. I get the significance (well I partially get it, I don’t think my mind can comprehend such power and love truly) of reflecting on the Christ being sacrificed to end the sin curse. In a small group this past week we read aloud the “Easter Story.” Everyone was so serious so I decided to drop a little joke, I was reading and I said something along the lines of, “Jesus and the disciples went to the Mount of Olives and Jesus said, ‘Look at that large bunny sitting on a chair in a mall!’” I found myself pretty humorous, but it seemed as if I had created blasphemy by cracking a laugh during such a serious moment. Within the same group I said that I don’t get why people make such a big deal of this holiday, we spend all this money on new clothes, go to church, have these fancy brunches and dinners, and totally forget about anything other than this holiday. This may sound a little odd coming from a follower of Jesus and one who desires to live an abundant life for Jesus. Pardon the anomalous questioning and stay with me on this thought line. Stop for a minute and ask yourself honestly why that you are so focused on this holiday right now. Why does every Facebook status I see have something to do with the gravity of this weekend?

Easy answer right? Because this is the weekend we celebrate as a faith the death and resurrection of Jesus which translates to forgiveness from and peace with God. Seems so elementary doesn’t it? Here is where I doubt this great celebration and what inspired me to write this; why do we celebrate only once a year? It seems that we make huge deals out of Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Good Friday, Christmas, etc. and go about life as normal the rest of the year. What we forget when reading the “Easter story” in our bibles is that it comes on the heal of Jesus and His disciples last supper. Jesus has this dinner with a bunch of Jewish men. In the Jewish culture eating a meal together is a very intimate occasion. The intimacy of this event is found in families and close friends most often. In that culture family dinners were frequent too. There were no TV trays or fast food restaurants; there was something special about sharing a meal together. Jesus knows what is going on and what is about to go down. Jesus has this intimate meal with these men and prepares them by telling them as they eat together, which would be often, remember what he was about to do, with bread remember His body, and with wine, remember His blood. Jesus is telling these men to remember what He is doing and will do often within an intimate community. So my qualm with all this hyped holiday talk is that it seems to still away from what Jesus wanted. We rob the beauty away from remembering Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection by limiting it to some weekend in April don’t we? We aren’t Facebook statuses buzzing like they are today all year around? Here are some examples of what I’ve found within a seconds glance at Facebook:

it will all be worth it....for those that do believe that one day,He will break the sky/I know you,can't see it now...but one day I know He will// -Mary Mary

Happy Good Friday!!!! He lives!

Can't even imagine the weight on Jesus' shoulders knowing what was aout to happen

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. But i will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. Psalm 71:8,14

Why is it that once a year we get all hyped up and emotional about Jesus’ ultimate deed? Did Jesus really have in mind a once a year remembrance when He had this meal with his friends? I’m challenged to consider who Jesus is and what He does daily, I have to challenge myself because it is easy to allow life to happen to me rather than happening to life.

So when my children don’t understand why everyone is making such a big deal out of one day I pray it’s because Mommy and Daddy taught them to remember Jesus daily. Once a week communion isn’t enough for me, I don’t think it’s what Jesus intended; I pray I remember Him over a beer and some pizza, almost every time, as often as I can eat. If we can put this much time and energy into remembering Jesus this weekend, my question is, where is all this the rest of the year? If we could somehow harness this same zeal throughout the year what would it look like, how would our lives be changed, how much love would we live by? I pray you will challenge yourself to remember all this jazz throughout the year and not limit it to one weekend.

2 comments:

  1. Adam you are so right...why do we not remember daily the sacrifice of the cross, instead we let the burdens of our daily lives weigh us down. We should instead walk with joy at the freedom that was provided because of Jesus sacrifce, so that others would be compelled to ask the reason for the hope we have...thank you brother for this challenge!!

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  2. Thanks Summerhillmom, glad you were challenged.

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