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Easter Sunday
Colossians 2:14 "Let no man judge you in respect of a holyday...or of the sabbath days."

Romans 14:5 "One man esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike..."

Of all the days to go to church Easter Sunday has always been the one I dread the most. It has always been that way for me as a Christian. It always seems to be so religious. So trivial. So fleshly. So far from the point, no matter how hard I try to make it about Jesus. Why do we have Christian Holidays (holydays as Paul called them) anyway? Was that part of God's plan? Did God look down on a tired humanity and say "My people could use a three day weekend."?

God did not send his Son, Jesus did not die on the cross, to establish holidays. The only thing I am cognizant of in the NT that Jesus labeled as worthy or remembrance was his death (through communion) and the extravagant, spontaneous outpouring of love accomplished by the sinful woman at Simons feast. He said what she did would be remembered "wherever this Gospel is preached." Us? We have "Christian" holidays.

How did we get here? Much has been said and written regarding the apostasy of the early church following the decrees of Constantine so I wont rehash it all here, but, do we really believe that this paganization of Christian worship can somehow be made meaningful to us? Do we imagine that the early church, meeting in the catacombs, would have thought it sane to dress up in their new Easter outfits to crawl through the sewers and assemble for church? After which they had a cookout and turned their children loose to hunt Easter eggs in the stench and filth of the catacombs?

Don't get me wrong, I'm no grinch. When our kids were little they got baskets of candy. We celebrate Christmas with trees, lights, gifts and turkey dinners. But, attempt to somehow wrest the holidays from their pagan roots and the entangling vines of tradition and expect believers to find some deep spiritual meaning in them? Please. That's available to us every day. In fact, when Paul was teaching that there are no longer sabbaths and holydays he was not exhorting people to abandon them but realize that they were types and shadows of which Jesus was the fulfillment. It's not a matter of Christians tossing out Holydays and believing every day is common but rather realizing that everyday is holy now and none are common!

I'll go to church this morning, begrudgingly, and watch the parade of empty finery fill the pews for a Christian social event. But I will be praying that some brave soul of a Pastor will have the courage to not bow down to tradition, perhaps even break down in tears, and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a hurting world.

In fact my prayer for next Christmas Lord is persecution for your church. When I hear Christians whining about Target, or Wal-mart, or some mall somewhere refusing to treat their holidays with respect I feel like Pharaoh observing of the Jews in Exodus, "Ye are idle! Ye are Idle! That's why you have time to worry about your religious observances! Get to work!".

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Amen brother

Amen, brother,

I just returned home from a very traditional easter service that was doing its best to look non-traditional. My wife and I went as a courtesy to our daughter and son-in-law because our grand daughter was in a play. We have had Church gatherings in our home for a couple of years now; they are small and informal and to the world unorganized, but to us they are the present and active arena of the Holy Spirit. We will now take the rest of the day to grieve and lament the great loss of the Spirit in America. It is always refreshing to know there are others out there who grieve with us.

In His service,

Steve Blackwell

Thank you. I didn't know if I would get amen'd or villified for this post.

Allow me to claim ground somewhere in between the 'Amen' and the vilifying.

I think the so-called paganization of Easter is in large part dependent on the church you're in. Come on! We know Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and He did so -- as best we can tell -- this weekend, one thousand nine hundred and seventy years ago. Anniversaries of all sorts have a way of centering the mind on the original event, and so regardless of the Easter Bunny or some pagan spring festival, Easter must, Easter should, have a transcendent meaning that goes far beyond any Christian social event. If it's not happening at your church, I submit you're in the wrong church.

I just don't see the trivialization and fleshly aspects of Christian worship that you mention in Easter. It's very true that every day is holy and that Christ is just as risen in October as he is in April, but we are still people, and have what appears to me to be a bent toward cycles in all areas of life. Mountain, valley, mountain, valley -- moderating as we mature, but never reaching the exalted state of constant communion with God. Sometimes we need events, holidays, celebrations to recenter us.

As for this sentence in the Blackwell comment:
"We will now take the rest of the day to grieve and lament the great loss of the Spirit in America. It is always refreshing to know there are others out there who grieve with us."

That seems just a bit presumptuous to me. The Spirit was with us this morning in power. In New York State. Don't grieve for me, friend.

Thanks’ Steve. I was hoping for a chance to talk about this issue. I speak for nothing but the culture I'm in now, and those that I have experienced in the past, and I was speaking about my personal experience. But I steadfastly stand by the fact that there are no scripturally sanctioned holidays or Holy Days or Sabbaths. And that we have perverted the ones we have made, especially here in the South, to the point that they are more social event than worship.

I think the addition of holidays are a natural evolution within any religion and view them as railings we add to the stairs. They are something tangible to hold onto for the young and old. But the stairs are the point. The railings have gotten so elaborate though that they are an entity unto themselves and detract from the point. And I might add that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Christians observing the resurrection or birth of Christ, I just hate the way we do it.

I feel the same way about the ignorant approach we take to Sunday being the Sabbath. What?? We don't have a Sabbath! We have the Lords Day, the first day of the week when Jesus rose, the day that early Christians spontaneously started to assemble on. But a Sabbath? Those early Christians, by the testimony of the early literature available, met briefly before dawn, worked all day at their jobs, and then reconvened in the evening for a meal, some Bible, and hymn singing. None of them would have had the gall to rail at the world for not giving them Sunday off and respecting their Sabbath. All that stuff came later with the Constantine corruption.

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