Oh, Was It Easter?

It’s been a long time since I posted on here (last July, I think, so almost nine months).  And the title of this first-in-a-long-time post is meant to be  somewhat tongue-in-cheek. The reality is that I was fully aware that today was Easter. But what struck me the most today was that today was not really that different from any other day.

Since leaving the traditional institutional expression of “church” about six years ago, there have been so many changes in my thinking and perspective. Things that used to be so important to me ceased to seem that important. And other things that seemed to be so trivial or unimportant before suddenly took on new meaning.

Easter is one of those things that ceased seeming to be so important. No, I do not mean that the resurrection of Jesus ceased to have any importance for me! But what I mean is that the single day of celebrating that changed dramatically for me.

When I was working in the institution, Easter was one of the biggest days of the year work-wise. It usually involved quite a bit of musical preparation (perhaps a cantata, or just extra-big congregational music). We would celebrate the resurrection and all that it meant to us like we would never have the chance to do so again.  At least we wouldn’t really get that chance for another year…

So what has changed for me? The resurrection now seems significant to me every day of the year. It’s no longer something to be singled out one day a year, but rather is a life-changing, life-altering, life-encompassing thing for me now.

For me, the resurrection “tops off” the work that was done on the cross. Jesus gave his life to ransom us from the power of sin and death. And because of his sacrifice in this regard, the Father rewarded him by bringing him back to life after he had done the work necessary to purchase us back from the powers of darkness.

So, the resurrection is important to me because it means death is not the end of the story. As Paul wrote, and I paraphrase here, since Jesus was resurrected, we have hope for life beyond the grave as well.

Today, I was aware that many churches were putting their all into celebrating the resurrection. And I think they should. I just think it shouldn’t be a one-day-a-year event. As for me, it was pretty much just another day. Another day of living in gratitude for the resurrection of Jesus. Just like every other day.

Until next time,

steve :)

This entry was posted in American Christianity, Christian Behavior, Living It, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Oh, Was It Easter?

  1. Kansas Bob says:

    I get that Steve. I had similar thoughts until I began attending a Methodist church (mostly online) that has this purpose statement:

    “To build a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.”

    I love the way that they make non-religious and nominally religious feel at home. Instead of focusing on “how great and spiritual we are” they seem to bring a bit of inspirational humility to celebrations like Christmas and Easter.

    So, while I agree that resurrection can (and should) be an everyday experience, it is also good to be inspired to live it out in a non-self-grandizing way. I know I have needed much encouragement in this difficult season of my life.

    Hope this makes sense. Have a great week!

  2. David says:

    Great to hear from you on this blog again Steve. You continue to be several steps ahead of me on the journey away from the “traditional” church model, which is largely based on the last two centuries.
    Thanks for expressing clearly what I was thinking and feeling when my family attended one of the traditional churches in our area this weekend.
    While we have been exploring the simple/home/organic church the last few years we have had successes anei failures along the way. It is a struggle at times.

    while I am thankful to be working in this economy, I am also working at a job that requires 70+ hours a week. not leaving much time or energy for my three kids or passion for exploring and seeing an organic church movement grow in my area.

    Which brings me to why I was attending a traditional church this weekend. I got a call from someone at the church looking for a facility manager for their new facility, something that I have done in churches and at the HQ of Campus Crusade for Christ for many years. I can do the job, it would get me out of the work load I find myself in, but….to go back to the traditional church again on staff??? not sure if I can or should do it. Sorry for the long response, it just triggered a current inner struggle at the moment.

  3. George says:

    Good to read you once again, Steve.

  4. ded says:

    Hey Steve,

    You haven’t posted in so long, I don’t check over here that often. I was glad to read a post by you.

    Something God has been showing me is reach for what is in the heart of people and spiritually meaningful regardless of the natural circumstances nor the understanding level of the people around you. Or another way to say, be what the resurrection has done in me as fully as I can to all. I no longer think too much of trying to convince people that the organizational church is not God’s model.

    As Kansas Bob speaks to above, seeking life in Christ with believers is one thing we Christians do, and believers are found in traditional churches. True enough that so are some spiritually confused ideas and spiritually unrenewed attitudes, this is after all, planet Earth in the third millinneum, right?

    God’s leadings for each one of us is unique. (Oh, by the way you would recognize faces in the group we have been a part of for a while now, and that is about all!)

    David, hope you don’t mind if I comment on your comment and as late as this comment is being written the issue is likely decided, but… Don’t close your mind to a job which may be the provision of the Lord just because it is in an organizational church. If that group will accept you as an employee and not a member, which means not expecting your allegiance on every matter or attendance at every meeting, gaining some time with family may be well worth it.

    This has been said by so many others, and I only say again because it’s true. I so regret not spending more time with my children as they were growing up. (The five of them are all twenty or older now.) They are each doing well now, but as I look at things that have not gone well for them over the years, I can’t help but feel I contributed to that by the workload I carried in my organizational church job. Which is obviously the flip side of the coin!

    Anyway, the “church” mindset is infiltratable; the people there are often open to hearing about deeper spirituality as a Christian; and your family is your primary spiritual responsibility. I will pray for you to clearly see and hear what our Father sees and hears on this for you.

  5. ded says:

    oh…spiritually confused ideas and unrenewed attitudes follow people. Though an organic model of church may foster spiritual growth more realistically than organized church, the organic model is not pure heaven. Only Heaven is pure.

  6. Jereme says:

    good stuff Steve!! missed your writing!!! :-)

    and I agree…all too often Easter is turned into more of a type of “showcase” for visitors, than an actual celebration of Jesus’ victory over death.

    we draw their attention to lights, music, etc…and the eternal answers they are seeking are really more of an after-thought, that we simply mix into our production at times. sad state of affairs…

  7. Agree completely. Resurection of Yeshua is ultimate victory over death. A cause for continual celebration or what?

  8. mike says:

    Steve,

    I’m still interested in hearing your thoughts about Paul replacing Jesus in people’s minds/theology.

    Maybe it will be your next post? :)

    - mike

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