Easter Beyond Chocolate Crosses

April 15, 2011

Chocolate cross anyone?

A couple of months ago I attended a conference where they asked the question, “What if Jesus was supposed to determine the things the church was supposed to be about?”  Far out there right?  Maybe it was a shocker for someone there, but most I think were a little underwhelmed.  Well, prepare yourself to be underwhelmed, cause I’ve got a question…

What if Easter was supposed to be about remembering Jesus’ resurrection?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you shouldn’t do your part to vanquish the army of Peeps amassing at your local grocery store or that you shouldn’t do your customary line of Jellybeans.  This post is not about what Easter shouldn’t be about.  This post is about reconsidering what Easter is about.

For many Easter is about family, for some it about traditions, but for nearly all (in America at least) Easter is about sugar.  Or at least the stats would lead us to believe that.  The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the average American will spend $131.04 filling Easter baskets this year.    Infoplease.com claims that Americans buy more than 700 million Marshmallow Peeps and 16 billion jellybeans each year (nearly enough jellybeans to circle the globe three times!).  Chocolate sales in 2009 were said to make up 71 million pounds of the total 121 million pounds of candy sold in the week leading up to Easter (according to herehere and here)

So what does it look like to remember Jesus’ resurrection on Easter? A couple thoughts:

  • Celebrate new life. Do you know anyone in a season of renewal?  Anyone with a new baby?  Anyone entering a new phase of life?  Any new initiatives to invigorate the city?  Why not celebrate them on or around Easter?
  • Engage Jesus’ mission. Jesus said that the Spirit was upon him to “proclaim good news to the poor…release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those whoa are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18).  What would it look like to engage the needs of one of these communities on Easter?
  • Remember God’s great acts. Easter comes in a long line of remembering the great acts of God.  Take communion.  Set time aside to review God’s great acts in your life and those around you over the last year.
  • In conclusion to Lent. Granted it is a little late this year, but perhaps remembering Jesus’ resurrection for you would start weeks in advance of Easter through celebrating Lent.  (More in a helpful pdf here)

What would you add to this list?  How do remember/celebrate Jesus’ resurrection at Easter?  What do you do to make sure Easter goes beyond chocolate crosses?


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