How the Easter message gets confused
I’m not a big Easter card person, but a friend who’s unable to go out asked me to pick one for him to send. So today I visited a Christian bookstore in search of the perfect Easter card. The first problem is that there aren’t very many manly Easter cards. Now I know which gender picks out the cards. But, more importantly, after looking through several (mostly pastel and frilly) Easter cards I made an awful discovery: none of them mentioned the center of Easter story. There were bunnies, spring flowers and generic promises of new life, but no resurrection.
Being a theologically-oriented person, I decided to check all the cards. Only three out of the more than thirty cards I looked at mentioned the resurrection. I’d expect this at Hallmark or a discount store, but this was a Christian book store. Flowers and candy baskets seem to have overwhelmed the message of the empty tomb. Vampires and ghosts seem to resonate with our culture more than resurrection. This just helped to confirm what I have been feeling. Even Easter, to borrow a theme from Peanuts, is getting too confusing. And the confusion only distracts those who most need to know the power of the resurrection.
While I have nothing against bunnies, pastel eggs and sentimental verses, Easter is the time for the church to proclaim clearly that Jesus who died for me is the Jesus who lives for me:
With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:33)
It is the power of the resurrection message, as Peter found in his Pentecost sermon, which cuts to the heart and brings us to faith and repentance.
What can we do to proclaim resurrection? First, tap into the power of resurrection through worship. There’s a reason we meet for worship on Sunday – it’s Resurrection Day! Second, join the earliest followers of Jesus by bearing witness to the resurrection. Be ready with this answer to the “why do you live this way?” question: because Jesus lives in me!
With you in worship and witness, Pastor Doug Fakkema, Anacortes CRC