I remember falling asleep with the sun shinning through my window on Easter Eve. Five a.m. always came so early because of the sunrise service. I would come downstairs to find my suit lying on the couch. We always dressed nicely, but on Easter Sunday we wore suits. My sisters wore white dresses and pretty gloves. We got to church, sat in the courtyard and heard trumpets as the sun came up.
Christmas was always a special day, but Easter was something that our family knew was a big deal; however, we noticed that some kids at school weren’t always as excited about Easter as we were. To us, Easter was exciting--a day we treasured. Sure, we may have loved the biscuits and gravy, the new clothes, and the Easter baskets waiting to be found, but we knew Mom was saying: This is a very important day.
As a pastor, Easter has taken on different forms for me. Each church God has called me to has celebrated in various ways. I have been in the woods for sunrise services; I have seen rock out bands, and choirs that are amazing, but Easter still never changes. Easter is the foundation of our Church. It is the time we celebrate what God promised--that He would rescue us from sin, death, and the devil. Easter is the end result of that work and the gift of Eternity. Lent is a time we reflect upon the life of our God, our Savior. Easter is the day that tops it off as we celebrate the gift of Eternal life. In each of the churches that I have served, the celebration might have been different, but the message is the same. It is the proclamation of the power of Christ, the forgiveness that we have in Him, and how we rejoice in that!
This Easter Season, don’t let anything or anyone take that away from you. Don’t let the devil keep you bogged down in the emotion of Good Friday. Don’t let the possibility of snow or bad weather keep you from attending this celebration. Don’t let your financial situation stop you from celebrating Easter. Don’t let any administration prevent you from celebrating what you know is true. Don’t let any sin hold you back from coming to receive forgiveness at the Table of Jesus in an Easter Feast. Don’t let any person or relationship remove the joy of Easter morning from you.
This Easter--Wake up! Dress up! Get ready for a celebration! We will have ways of helping you do that with songs you know and love, along with brass instruments, bells and choir. But most importantly, we will receive the Word of God in its true dimension as we experience the depth of God’s Word being fulfilled in His Son, our Savior and Redeemer, the true and Resurrected Jesus!