So many things about our faith seem to be getting labelled as “out dated”. In a culture filled with busyness and so many competing interests for our time, it is so easy to just check things off the list and forget why we do what we do.
In looking at our own family calendar, the day to day events of the week could easily squeeze out time to prepare spiritually for the remembrance of our Lord’s Crucifixion and Resurrection. This week we are trying to get school done before Spring Fever really hits, have a college visit scheduled, a planning meeting for graduation, and hubby’s birthday on Saturday. Of course, there is also all the commotion of the hometown team making it to the Final Four with a perfect record for the season.
I find myself sitting back marveling at how easy it would be to lose complete focus on what this week really means. Even if we were able to clear our calendars, it could be all consuming just making sure everyone’s clothes were ready to go, menu made and groceries purchased for a large Easter banquet, and goodies for the children in keeping with many American traditions. I am reminded of the exclamations at church on Easter morning of “He is Risen” followed shortly by “I just love your dress. Where did you get that?”
For many families, extra funds for fancy dresses or big meals with all the frills may not be an option. The question it raises in my own mind is if we were to take away our more secular Easter traditions of the bunny and chocolates, remove the fancy outfits, and even chose to not make that splendid meal would it feel like there was anything left to make Easter special.
If I were to answer that question with a “No” or a sense of disappointment, then maybe I have lost my spiritual focus on what Easter really means and the need for remembering Palm Sunday and the important events biblically that lead up to our Savior’s death and resurrection.
Today marks the day that we remember Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Hallelujahs were resounding in the streets while he humbly road into the city on the back of a donkey. In realizing what the coming days would hold and the changing tide of sentiment that His people would have, the Bible tells us that He wept. He wept. He knew how fickle our hearts can be and how weak our faith can also be when under pressure. He wanted so much more for us. He knew He was the answer, but it still broke His heart understanding that need far better than we ever will.
I condemn no one’s choice in how to celebrate what could be considered one of the most pivotal times in our faith and God’s provision for our need. However, I challenge myself and each of you reading this to dig a bit deeper. Look beyond the Easter dresses, the egg hunts, the commotion of the Final Four and general Springtime busyness, and search with all your heart for a renewing of the vitality of our faith.
He is Risen! Hallelujah! May those be words that change our lives forever and not just an annual salutation.
To help prepare our hearts, the kids and I are reading The Vinegar Boy together to help refocus our minds on the reality of Easter and not just our society’s traditions. If you have never read it, we highly recommend it to you.