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Easter past and present

Posted by C Shell 
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Easter past and present
April 02, 2010 01:27AM
The last blog I wrote was about Christmas. So now it's time for Easter. The two times in the "church year" that most people go to church, if they don't go the rest of the year. Churches know this, and gear their "attractions" to draw people in. I read today that there's a church in Texas that's offering prizes worth A MILLION DOLLARS to draw people to come to their church on Easter. They justify it by saying that once the people are there, they'll introduce them to Jesus, the gift beyond price. (my husband said: if everyone gets a piece of paper with a prize on it, and his says "Jesus" instead of "brand new BMW", he'd be mighty pissed)

But I digress. What I really wanted to write about was, how is Easter different for us now than it was when we dressed up in our spring finest and went to church?

One thing that comes to my mind is Holy Week. Ya start with Palm Sunday (everybody gets a palm leaf to take home. what are you going to do with this? Look at it for a few days till it dries up?) and then you have to go to church again on Maundy Thursday for either footwashing or holy communion because that's what Jesus did on Thursday. Then Good Friday. Well, that used to be a Big Deal in the US, not so much anymore, where businesses would give their employees a half day off to go to church so they could feel really, really, sad and guilty for what they did to Jesus.

Once I went to church on Saturday night for "Easter Vigil". It was 2 hours long. Until midnight. And I do mean long. I am so glad I never have to do that again.

And then there was Easter. A really joyful day usually. "Up from the grave he arose!" "Christ is risen Alleluia".......But looking back, it was like we had been programmed by being all sad and reflective and guilty throughout the 40 days of Lent culminating in Good Friday, so we could be programmed to be HAPPY! on Easter. And it didn't always work for me, I had to pretend to be all "Alleluia!!" when I felt nothing.

Now I don't go to church anymore, so what does Easter mean?
Re: Easter past and present
April 02, 2010 11:58AM
Hmm .. the opposite of Wester winking smiley

but i have found when i forgot to celebrate a big day in the traditional or communal way God would do something with me instead that was like someone said .. what did you do for .. and then i think back .. oh yeah ..

Hope you all are well .

Re: Easter past and present
April 02, 2010 12:58PM
( Wow. I think I just realized something about myself -- the way I used to be verses the way I am now. Thanks, Shelley, for starting this topic. :-) )

Back then, Easter was not that much different for me than any other time of year -- Just fancier, froo-froo-ier dresses, and the sun was almost sure to be shining (Spring was starting to bloom), daffodils out, etc. But as far as how I felt about God,... not that much different. It just felt like everyone else in church was finally "joining me" in my enthusiasm for the risen lord.

Back then, I thought that this feeling was because I was so "dedicated", and that my relationship with God was "real all-the-time", and Easter was when other people had that reality too. (sigh)

Just today, I realized that other people WERE in fact "joining me" in my reality -- but it wasn't the reality of a relationship, it was my religion. (yuck. -- I SO did NOT think that before.)

I must give God credit -- HE was REAL with ME all-the-time, but I always had that sense of obligation to prove myself. The same reason people will go to church on Easter -- sort of a pay-back for their salvation.

This year? I feel a bit like an outsider. But its not so uncomfortable that I feel I must DO something in order to participate or prove who I am. (what a relief). Honestly, this weekend is MOVING WEEKEND, so other than dinner at my sister-in-law's on Saturday -- I'm not really aware that its EASTER.
Re: Easter past and present
April 03, 2010 01:25AM
(((((((((((((((Theresa, moving this weekend!)))))))))))))))))))))))))

Too True Theresa
I always had that sense of obligation to prove myself. The same reason people will go to church on Easter -- sort of a pay-back for their salvation.
A payback. A guilt offering. I wonder if that's what's behind the upsurge of attendance at Easter services?

Question: does Papa want us to re-enact every year the week Jesus died and rose from the dead?
Re: Easter past and present
April 03, 2010 06:49AM
oooooh, Papa help Theresa and hubby with the big move this weekend! It's a stressful time for sure!

Easter used to be about being certain that we were the "RIGHT" ones, after all, why else would the government mandate that many days off, if they weren't paying respect to Jesus? And looking down the nose at those who thought that chocolate bunnies and eggs were the sum total of Easter.

Now I am happy to report that I am not such an anal-retentive donkey-hole. People want to have lots of chocolate? Whatever, have fun, go for it, enjoy life! Not a big chocolate fan myself, but I'm not going to condemn those who don't know what Easter is about. And for that matter, if I wanted to be really pedantic/legalistic, Easter is not actually when Christ was crucified; it was just when Constantine decided to replace a Pagan festival. The Early church didn't celebrate his death and resurrection with a holiday, they lived it day to day- how could they forget it?

So I guess for me, Easter = a government-sanctioned period where a lot of places go into low-service mode, and many people gorge themselves silly on chocolate. Nothing more.

And no, I cannot see that Papa wants us re-enacting His Son's death...he would rather we remembered the price was paid to GIVE US LIFE...so focus on the price? Nah, focus on the LIFE, and live it every day, being resurrected every morning.

Thanks be to you, Papa, for your life, the life that you gave us in your son. Thank you that you are there to walk with us through every day, living out the resurrection your son modelled. Death has lost it's grip, we are new creations in YOU!

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Easter past and present
April 03, 2010 07:05AM
Actually, re-reading my post there, I still sound like an anal-retentive donkey-hole *giggle*, only now it is about having "NEW LIFE"! Why o why do I feel the need to preach? CrazyRofl

Enjoy your weekend, guys, however it takes shape for you. Live in the certainty that you are loved! Luv

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Easter past and present
April 03, 2010 10:40PM

donkeys what!! (no dont go there dude)
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