Monday, April 25, 2011
EASTER SUNDAY 2011
Easter Sunday is the High Holy Day for the Christian community. I've loved it as the best holiday of the year for many years!
The eggs and the bunny are fun, the flowers blooming after a hard winter are very welcome, and the promise of spring brings hope to the heart and mind.
BUT, it is the Risen Savior that takes center stage and HE makes this holiday supreme. I feel it should be celebrated in a way unequal to any other party!
This past Sunday was no disappointment. We went to church with our youngest son and his family at Park Cities Presbyterian in Dallas. It's a wonderful old building and it was filled to capacity with Moms and Grandmoms, Dad's and Papa's, and beautiful children of every size imaginable. It was standing room only in that cavernous marble place.
The altar was full of choir members in their red robes, the orchestra and organ delighting everyone present with heavenly music. The prayers, the sermon, the offertory were divine. Those Presbyterian ministers looked like they'd just stepped out of the history books, their robes flowing as they walked. The formality and liturgy were fitting the occasion.
"He is Risen! " " He is Risen Indeed," replied the congregation in unison. Ancient hymns declaring sound solid theology soared above our heads and floated about the tall ceiling. Hundreds of people stood as the Hallelujah chorus was performed flawlessly.
Celebrating the resurrection cannot be taken lightly! It is THE most critical message of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection of Jesus there is NO reason to believe anything else the Bible proclaims. He was who He said He was (GOD) or He was a lunatic. Those are the only two options to consider.
Christmas is wonderful but it is the prerequisite for Easter. The God-Baby came to this earth FOR Easter Sunday, the fulfillment of the festival of First Fruits to the Hebrew people, Jesus being the First Fruit of the gound with millions of others to follow.
Easter ended the ancient sacrificial system established eons before to demonstrate the seriousness of sin and the blood requirement for justice to be served. No more bulls or goats ever need to fear the day of Atonement again.
In fact, the reason Christians go to church on Sunday rather than Saturday is because the early church met on the first day of the week to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. It was early on the first day of the week that the women found the tomb empty.
I think I'll follow their example and start celebrating Easter EVERY SUNDAY! What a novel idea! We could call it RESURRECTION DAY!
HE IS RISEN, HE IS RISEN INDEED!