Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Any Other Sunday


Yesterday's post by Mike Ellis reminded me of my kids' Easter egg hunt. I was chasing our son while my wife was herding our daughter. All the while I was worried either of them would make a mess of the clothes they were wearing.

I wonder if my parents felt the same way when I was that age. Of course you have to dress up at Easter. For many kids, it is likely the only time they will have to wear a suit. Yet we're released into the wild only to scuff our shoes, mash grass stains onto our knees, and tumble head over heels to get that last egg. I wonder how many curse words my parents might have said in their heads (or out loud!) as they watched me ruin my Easter best.

Honestly, I wrestled with the thought as I dressed my children Sunday morning. I'm not big on dressing extra spiffy for Sundays, but I do want to at least look nice. Yet Easter added that extra pressure. As I'm picking out the usual clothes a voice in my head kept saying, "but it's Easter!" And my stubbornness would reply, "but there's an egg hunt!" I expect many other parents shared in that same internal battle.

Why is that so? Yes, Easter is one of the "Big Two" church services that people feel compelled to attend every year, regardless of whether they are regular pew-fillers or not. But what sets it apart to make it so special? Shouldn't we be celebrating Christ's resurrection every day, not just an arbitrary Sunday set by the phases of the moon?

I admit, I came to church Sunday looking forward to a great show. I'm glad I didn't get it. Not to say it wasn't a great worship service, it was. (One of my best friends is the worship minister, please don't take this personally!) But it wasn't the dog-and-pony show so many churches put on for Easter. The sermon wasn't extra "fluffy", full of platitudes about Jesus' love, but rather what we'd expect any Sunday- challenges on how to live like Christ and lessons to be learned from His sacrifice. The songs were nice and there were a couple of soloists to mix things up a little, but that was it. It was just like any other Sunday. And looking back (and looking at the grass stains on my son's pants) I'm glad it was.

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