I just finished reading this disturbing study performed by the Barna Group concerning Americans’ view of Easter. It is unsettling how many people don’t regard Easter as a religious holiday, and of those who do, many fail to associate the holiday with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Looking at my own past, there has never been an Easter weekend which I remember spending focused on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The Lads to Leaders convention, in which I participated from 2nd to 10th grade, is always on Easter weekend. For eight years I spent the weekend of the resurrection in competition with my fellow believers.
Then I came to Harding where the biggest event of the year, Spring Sing, dominates the weekend. So again, I have spent 4 or 5 more years supporting or participating in competition on Easter weekend. During the days my Savior was dead, I was singing and dancing for thousands to see.
Spring Sing and Lads to Leaders are not bad in and of themselves. And they are not the only distractions taking place during Easter time. We have Easter Egg hunts, school parties, and pastel colored baskets full of fake grass. On top of that, rarely have the congregations I have attended actually taken time out to remember the day on which the new covenant was ratified. The resurrection of Christ should be a bigger deal than the birth of Christ, yet Christmas is a much bigger holiday on our calendars.
Let me also clear the air a little. I’m aware that Christians commemorate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus every time they take the Lord’s Supper and perform a baptism. Also, I know that the Easter holiday has been overrun with pagan tradition since its inception (hence the bunnies and eggs).
Regardless of all that, the rest of America (and much of the world) recognizes Easter as an important holiday. I think that we should do a better job of ridding the holiday of all the pagan and secular mess and really SHOW the rest of the world WHY we are celebrating! Let’s present them with the good news of the resurrection while they are wondering what this Easter thing is all about.
PS – Easter keeps in line with the Jewish celebration of Passover, and the Jews traditionally use a lunar calendar. That’s why the date changes from year to year.