Lydia and I are a little put off by Easter this year. It's not the fact that Easter has been secularized that makes our stomaches churn, but the fact that churches have become so gimmicky about it. They know this is the one time of year that many people attend church, and for one reason or another the main goal of their service planning is to grab those people. Some churches want to see these people become Christians. Some churches want to increase their membership. Some churches are planning genuine celebrations of Christ's death and resurrection, but the overwhelming majority are focusing on how this holiday can help their church..or their cause.
Case in point - there is a small church near our house (one of about a billion little churches within 2 square miles) that has set up a huge stage right by the road. The back of the stage is to the road, and the chairs for the congregation are facing the stage, and therefore the road. The church sits on a few acres of beautiful property where a nice, quiet, reverent service could easily be held elsewhere, but they chose to put their service in front of a noisy road so people could see them worshiping. What an obvious display of Phariseeism. Gross.
Besides the birth of Chris, is there any occassion in Jesus' years on earth that should be celebrated with more humility...more reverance? Yet churches are planning gimmicks to gain attention. They're pounding in advertising for their church. I'm sure if you think about it you've seen signs for Easter services that include a lot of razzamatazz meant to appeal to non-members of that particular church. It would be less offensive if they just built an altar to the Easter Bunny and passed around a pipe full of Easter "grass". At least people would be having fun not celebrating Easter.
I'm not sure where we'll be this Sunday...maybe at our own church...maybe taking communion by ourselves in our own living room or under some trees somewhere. I'm pretty sure we won't be participating in any roadside spectacles. I hope you have a quiet weekend. I hope you can get away from the circus long enough to reflect on life, and where we'd all be without Christ.