Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why are secular people still in love with Easter?

Arguably, Easter Sunday is the most unique Sunday of the year.  People who haven't attended a worship service all year long, are willing to -- on Easter.  People spend, I recently read, an average of $150. per person on Easter for clothes, candy, etc.  And, people who don't typically consider themselves evangelistic, can find themselves inviting their friends to worship with them...  Why?

It's hard to not see the influence of Jesus on our everyday lives.  The very calendar the world runs on is based on Jesus.  This is the year 2012; 2012 years of "what"?  2012 years since Jesus' birth.  Yet, His birth (which gets a pretty good annual celebration) isn't as significant as His death.  The death, which the whole world is reminded of each Easter, still influences us after all these years.

Our culture, nation, and global context is reportedly less "religious" or spiritual than it has been in generations.  So why are people still in love with Easter?  In part, Easter is "safe" in the minds of most people.  It's a safe time emotionally and culturally to let down our guard, and be open to the idea that there's something to the story of Jesus.  I think there's a longing in most people to connect with, and hope for an afterlife.  What's better than Jesus conquering death, being raised from the grave, and leaving an empty tomb to show people the fulfillment of this universal hope?

There's a twofold challenge with Easter for believers: In our desire to spread the Good news, #1 it's to not weaken our message and simply accommodate culture on Easter Sunday.  The 2nd challenge is, not seeing Easter as our only time to invite people (any day we can share our faith, is a good day to invite people).

Having said that, it I think it's a mistake for Churches to ignore the opportunity Easter provides to connect with people who are more open/receptive than usual.  I think Easter services should be focused on the Resurrection, but not just because visitors are expecting to hear about it, but because as much as people are still in love with Easter, God is and always has been in love with us.

Easter is the number one expression of God's love; God loved us so much He couldn't stand the idea of eternity without us, He was willing to die so we could live with Him.  No matter how far we stray from God's love or try to ignore Him, there's within each of us a divine spark, that no matter how dimly it glows, flickers brighter each Easter... and that's why ALL people are still in love with Easter.

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