I find the abundance of signs that were announcing “Easter” services disturbing. Because here it is two weeks later and not one special sign encouraging Sunday worship attendance is anywhere in sight. How can we have all that fervor for remembering, honoring, and celebrating the resurrection of Christ for about three weeks before “Easter” then, poof, it all vanishes?
It seems that Easter has become just one more in a line of advertising opportunities. I know that behind the banners, extra assemblies, and added symbols is some sense that His resurrection is extraordinarily special. But if it is that special, why do we need to make such a hoopla once a year to encourage people to remember it? Why is it not something that is on our minds and hearts every day?
I am sure most of you do have it on your heart every day. Belief that Jesus is the Son of God, proven by the working of God's power in making Jesus the firstfruits of the resurrection, is the reason you have developed religious habits and stress righteous virtues. But what about our churches? Have we left the way of God and accepted the way of the world? What I mean is, do we believe we must have some glittery campaign in order to attract people to God?
I do not wish to halt all the attendance promotions that churches undertake. But I want to be sure that we do not legitimize the feeling some have, which is the idea that perfunctory observance of a couple of annual religious holidays is enough to nurture one's relationship with God. (Yes, I have had people tell me they believe that is enough.) When we stress our “Easter Service” and “Christmas Eve” worship more than our ongoing Sunday worship meetings, Sunday school, and midweek study times, we may be helping people develop that harmful attitude.
Instead, let's make every Sunday a time of celebration and renewal. Let's make every Sunday a time to recommit ourselves to a vibrant relationship with God. Let's take every opportunity to connect with the Lord and bring our living closer to his perfection.
Whether our churches help us or not, we can each commit to following such a practice. We can, whether our church leaders promote it or not, have that celebration in our hearts. We can use the study and worship times that are in our churches' weekly schedules to be constantly encouraging ourselves and others.
No more Christians on "holy days" only. By our devotion to God and his service, we can make it a holy life!