For some, Easter is a time to buy new clothes for church and eat chocolate. Bible and church, much less THE story, are really incidental to the whole affair. In the tradition of my youth that was sorta ok. Not knowing the precise date of His resurrection, the Scriptural approach, we were told, was to avoid any particular religious attachment to the holiday. So we wore new clothes, opened Easter baskets before worship, and went to hear the preacher proclaim the truth while taking great pains to either avoid the subject of the resurrection, which was the normal topic the other 51 Sundays, or preach a message on why we do not celebrate Easter as THE resurrection day.
I could be critical of my childhood church's stance, but I'm not sure many of us do much better today. While we approvingly nod to the empty tomb, we too are more interested in the secular accoutrements like new clothes, candy, egg hunt, and family festivities. As for churches it has almost become a day when we rev the engines to compete for the crowds. Needing an ethical excuse we talk about what an opportune time it is because people are more willing to go to church on Easter than any other Sunday of the year. So, we need to celebrate it with bells on the ankles, or more precisely with art, drama, egg hunts, and yard signs announcing the big day at our place.
To put my criticism in perspective, I'm all about the big day. Eggs, bunny, chocolate, family meal, yard signs, all of it. Go for it! We at CoastPointe will be! However, in the process of planning and enjoying the day, as Christians, we must remember THE story. It is the story of the resurrection that offers not just the excuse to celebrate, but the call to remember. It is in remembering, sincerely, reflectively, intentionally remembering that we are changed, transformed into a new creation. It is in remembering the story that we are liberated from the failures and weaknesses that have taken a strangle hold on our lives. It is in remembering that the tragedy of the moment is liberated by the hope of the future.
Easter was never intended as a pause to relax, but a moment to find new hope.