How was your Easter?
I think almost every one of us can agree that this Easter was like no other. No going to church. No extended family meal. No Easter egg hunt. No dressy family picture. No figuring out what everyone is going to wear. No deciding where to go. No rushing. No timetable.
This Easter was so different. It was different because all the “busy-ness” of Easter was taken away. Our Easter consisted of quiet time with God, church service online, zoom with family, a meal with the five of us and family time for the rest of the day. With all of the busy-ness and distraction gone, I felt like this was the first Easter where I was REALLY able to concentrate on Jesus and His sacrifice and resurrection. It was like I had a closer experience with Him. I was focused on Him because I didn’t have to focus on all the other stuff. I was able to spend more time contemplating on the true meaning of Easter.
Now, I am not saying that I didn’t miss family time and all of the other things that go along with celebrating Easter, but this year was an opportunity to experience Easter without all the noise and I just wonder if God allowed that so that we would come back to the true roots of Easter. I’ve been reading in the book of Isaiah for some time now and recently decided that I should probably start at chapter one versus jumping back and forth between chapters.
Isaiah in chapter one is warning the Isrealites that they have been a corrupt nation. They had given into worshipping false idols and that they are just going through the motions in their worship of God. When reading chapter one yesterday, I was struck with Isaiah 1:13-15:
“Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations-I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!”
Here, God was so tired of his people rebelling against Him. His people turned their backs on God and abandoned Him, yet they were continuing to hold assemblies and festivals in His honor. They were honoring Him with their actions, but not with their hearts.
I just wonder how God feels about our assemblies of religious holidays, Easter and Christmas. My eyes were opened on Sunday at how much our holidays have become more about the planning and the preparation rather than on Jesus. I don’t know about you but our holidays usually consist of going to church and saying a prayer before the meal and that’s about it for God. The rest is filled with food and family. I’m not saying that food and family is not important, but if I were to take an honest look at the priority of our holiday, God would not be taking the center seat and I just wonder how He feels about that. For some reason this Easter, I was very much convicted that our holidays need to change from here on out.
After sharing this revelation with my mom, she readily agreed. She lives alone and has been abiding by the “safer at home” ruling. She was all by herself this Easter and she spent most of the day praying and reading the Word. When I shared my feelings about honoring God and allowing Him to take center stage during our holidays, she agreed that next Easter, she wanted to spend it alone with Jesus. That we would have a gathering with food and family on a different day, but that Easter would be all for Jesus.
I just wonder what would happen if we would all put Jesus center stage on Christmas and Easter and stop doing all of the other “stuff” that is taking away from honoring and celebrating Him. Judging from my experience this year, I think it would be pretty powerful!