Monday, April 25, 2011

Distraction Day (Aka Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc)

Hello and Happy Monday everyone.  Today I just want to post a few brief observations regarding holidays and the endless parade of distractions they have become. 

Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday or Easter as it is commonly referred to.  The day is a day where we Christians celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and promise that it brings to our eternity.  The problem is that much like Thanksgiving or Christmas, our focus becomes on the celebration and not on the substance of the holiday.  Easter has become more about a rabbit who lays eggs, giving candy to our children, a feast with the family, wearing our best Spring fashions, and sports.  Then again, every holiday has to do with sports. Where would we be without baseball, hockey, basketball, and golf on Easter.  Where would we be without football on Christmas and Thanksgiving?  But I digress, sports is merely one of many distractions.  Back to the point at hand, Easter eggs have nothing to do with Jesus.  I know we talk about how eggs represent life, etc but that is a real stretch.  The fact is that we are attempting to make Christian an old Pagan holiday that celebrated Spring and not our Lord.  More sad news, magical rabbits also have nothing to do with Jesus.  Neither does candy or Spring fashions.  As for our meals, a family meal is never a bad thing but the fact that we make such a big deal out of it that it takes us from celebrating our Lord to celebrating the celebration of our Lord.  We go from Mary to Martha and forget Jesus telling us that it really needs to just be all about Him. 

I am not picking on Easter.  On Thanksgiving it is more about gorging ourselves than it is about giving thanks for the ability to gorge ourselves.  On Christmas, it is more about children receiving presents and a fat man in a red suit than anything else.  We sing songs about snow and winter that somehow has anything to do with Jesus.  First of all, Jesus did not have a white Christmas. I mean, first of all, he was not even born in December and even if he were, it rarely snows in Israel.  As for children and presents, please do not tell me it had anything to do with Jesus receiving gifts.  That is justification after the fact.  The fact is that we spend very little time celebrating Jesus on a holiday He never told us to celebrate anyway. 

A wonderful thing happened yesterday.  We lost power in the midst of our Easter celebration.  What was once a day about eating, sports, decorating, and preparation became something else.  You see with all those distractions taken away, the only thing left to do was to contemplate on some level what we were supposed to be celebrating to begin with.  In the end, we sat around the piano and sang old hymns.  Not growing up in a church nor having ever attended a church that sang old hymns, I was a bit lost to be able to join in.  It was nice just to listen to it, though.  For a while at least, with all are distraction eliminated through what is ironically called an "Act of God" (thunder storm), Easter became what it was supposed to be about, that is worship of our Lord who died for our sins and rose again from the dead to bring us the promise of eternity.  May God take power away from every holy day, lest we forget what they truly mean.
And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42 NKJV 

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