My senior year of high school, my class went on our senior trip during spring break, and arrived back home the Saturday afternoon/evening before Easter. I was exhausted from a two-day drive, plus all the excitement of the senior trip, but when my parents asked if I was planning on going to church with them in the morning, I wholeheartedly said yes. (Sidenote: Usually, going to church was not an option, but for some reason in this instance I remember it being an option).
In the morning, my Mom came in to wake me up. I mumbled “I don’t WANT to go to church”, rolled over, and went back to sleep. This was unusual, because I knew how to operate an alarm clock, and usually woke myself up…and I was not a heavy sleeper. So, my parents decided I was a big girl and could make my own decisions, and headed off to church. I woke up several hours later, shocked that my parents had left me at home on Easter Sunday! I contemplated catching a taxi to church, but knew that there would not be much of the service left by the time I got there.
So…I completely missed Easter.
But I did something even worse this year.
I completely. missed. Easter.
It all started a couple weeks ago, when I started to see the pastel colored candies, cakes, toys, and baskets pop out on the shelves at stores. Every time I walked past the candy aisle at Wal-mart, I grimaced and looked away, a sad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I just wanted to scream and yell, ‘THAT’S NOT THE POINT! STOP COMMERCIALIZING MY SAVIOR’S DEATH!”
It continued to get worse as I heard people talk about what egg hunts they were taking their kids to, or where to find the perfect thing to put in their child’s Easter basket.
It got worse when I saw pictures of the easter bunny, right next to girl-ified, pastel colored chocolate crosses, meant to eaten and enjoyed. DO WE REALIZE WHAT A CROSS REALLY IS, PEOPLE?
I hated it. I hated every moment of the materialism. I turned my nose up at anyone who bought fancy new easter dresses and suits, spent $50 on an easter basket for a 4-month-old, and engaged in what I viewed as heartbreaking behavior and disrespect to the King who DIED for us.
And just like that, I missed Easter. I was so focused on judging and hating the materialism that there was no room in my heart to focus on the cross, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. I didn’t buy candy, I didn’t buy new clothes, and I didn’t make my husband an easter basket. So I patted myself on the back.
Great job, you un-materialistic one! You have completely avoided all the American idols of Easter! Horray!
Then I woke up this morning and realized that I completely missed Easter. I completely missed the point. I missed the cross, I missed the resurrection, I missed taking the chance to celebrate the day that I received eternal life, because death was defeated. I didn’t even open my Bible yesterday (outside of church) to reflect on how Jesus was thinking of me, and my sins, and my horrible-easter-attitude when he DIED on that splintery, gory, blood-crusted wooden cross. Yeah, so I’m right…the cross wasn’t a pastelly-purple, or chocolate.
But I’m wrong, because I let my judgmental sins and attitudes become idols even more hideous and sinful than the cadbury eggs and new books in that kid’s easter basket.
Today, I am so thankful that I have more than one day to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. I’m so thankful that his sacrifice covers my sins once and for all…not just on one or two days of the year. I’m thankful that he shows me my horrible attitudes, and the sin that so easily entangles.
What about you? Have you ever had such an attitude about something, that you missed the whole point entirely?