|Easter, no, RESURRECTION, YES!|
April 6, 2012
Many of us grew up celebrating Easter as the holiday where a cute little bunny rabbit brought chocolate and other delicious treats for everyone to eat. All we had to do was look diligently for the eggs hidden around the house and eventually it would lead us to the only thing we cared about: that giant basket of goodies.
Many are still celebrating Easter in a similar fashion. It's become tradition - it's just what we do. This year I have a radical suggestion: start a new tradition. Something that goes much, much deeper than a furry rabbit & candy.
Now don't get me wrong - I'd be lying if I told you there was no chocolate involved in my Easter weekend. I'd also be lying if I told you there were no Peeps or other marshmallow-y related food products. Or jelly beans. Or Twizzlers. There's nothing wrong with having a little egg hunt & candy at Easter - it's fun. But there is something wrong when Easter becomes all about the bunnies and the eggs and the chocolate.
Easter is actually the greatest love story ever told - yet mankind has managed to water it down to an opportunity to devour a few extra M&M's and are actually 'offended' when they hear it. How could that be? What's offensive about this: The very first Easter weekend - three days that changed the world forever - took place over 2,000 years ago. Mankind was lost, floundering - headed for destruction. But because God so loved the world, He gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him will never die & have eternal life. And like the good Shepherd, Jesus laid down His life for the flock - and suffered greatly in doing so. He didn't have to - but He did. That is why we celebrate.
And that is why we need to start a new tradition this Easter - whether you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, still thinking about it (come on already!), etc - because the holiday has nothing to do with chocolate. It's about showing love. Instead of just pounding some creme eggs & jelly beans - reach out to a friend or neighbor or total stranger. Get to know them - and look for ways you can help them. Donate your time. Donate some food. Whatever it is, just find a way to help someone in need.
America's woes are easily solvable with that one, powerful, incredible word: love. That is why we are gathering this summer for Restoring Love in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium - to remind people of our greater purpose and stir us to action. It's also why I have great hope - because I know the American people & what we are capable of when we put our minds, and more importantly our hearts, to something.
I look forward to hearing about your new Easter tradition - one that I believe will save the country.
Have a great Easter!
Glenn's letter show's the ethical/social side of the question.
Here is the crux of the matter, on the personal level --
WE ARE CALLED TO BE A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST JESUS:
Colossians 3:1-17 NASB
Put On the New Self
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience,
and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.
Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,
and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him-
a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
AND COME JOIN US IN THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST.