Why does Christmas get so much more attention than Easter? While out shopping the other day, it dawned on me I hadn’t picked up any Easter cards. I thought to myself, “Well, at least it won’t cost me too much since I’ll only be mailing a few.” At Christmas I spend a small fortune on cards and postage. Wow! What a comparison. Is the notable difference between Easter and Christmas the cost?
When it gets right down to it, I’m beginning to think Christmas gets much more attention because the “holiday season” has become all about us and not all about Jesus (the reason for the season). Just think about it. Why do we get all worked up and worn out during those several weeks before Christmas? Is it because we are like Mary, who chose to sit at the feet of Jesus while her sister, Martha, ran around the house dusting away the cobwebs…and nearly missed spending precious time with God? Nope! Most of us are more like Martha. At Christmas, we run around town trying to buy the perfect gift for everyone on our list, often not even counting the cost; well, that is, until January rolls around and the credit card bill comes in the mail.
By the time we recuperate from the “frenzy” of Christmas shopping and all the hoopla that goes along with making Christmas the most recognizable day of the year, Easter rolls around, and we find ourselves becoming a little more like Mary. Well, kinda. We approach Easter with a little less anxiety. After all, no one is expecting the perfect gift in their Easter basket…no, just a few chocolate bunnies, and maybe a ham and deviled eggs for Easter dinner. So, we can simply relax a little and enjoy the true meaning of Easter, right?
Easter is all about Jesus! God is definitely not concerned with how much Christmas costs us to celebrate the birth of His son. God is, however, immeasurably concerned with the attention we give to the One who died on the cross for the sins of the world, who was raised from the dead, and who is now preparing a place in heaven for those who know Him as their Lord and Savior. (John 14:2-3)
Easter (Resurrection Sunday) is the exclamation mark in the life of every true believer. Our salvation cost Jesus everything. “Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11).
I challenge Christian families to celebrate Easter with an EXCLAMATION MARK!
Disclaimer: I am not saying that Christmas is unimportant in the life of a Christian. Of course it is….otherwise there would be no Easter. My point is this, let’s be sure Easter is all about Jesus, and let’s celebrate His resurrection from the grave with exuberant joy!
Resources to celebrate Easter: Resurrection Eggs (Make your own, or purchase them from a local Christian bookstore, or from Family Life Today at: http://shop.familylife.com/p-1717-resurrection-eggs.aspx )
The Last Supper, Crucifixion, and Resurrection, Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible DVD (ages 4-11), Peek-A-Bible: The Easter Story (Tracy Harrast) (ages 1-6) (Purchase these and many others Easter resources at: http://www.christianbook.com/)
Reenact the Easter Story. Recently, our three-year old grandson asked his daddy to play the part of Jesus so they could act out the Easter story as a family. His daddy was pleased until his son asked him to take off all his clothes! The week leading up to Easter, spend time reading the Holy Week stories as a family. (Use all four Gospels, to glean the amazing eye-witness accounts), and then act out a different scene each day leading up to Easter. On Easter morning, celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death by attending a Resurrection Sunday worship service. Having an Egg hunt is a fun tradition. We hide several “empty” (golden) eggs, symbolizing the empty tomb. Kids finding the empty eggs win a special treat (kite, sidewalk chalk, etc.). The rule: Hide an equal amount of golden eggs per child and tell the children they may only claim 1 empty (golden egg). This way all the children are winners!