Every year at Christmas time, I marvel at how easy it is to miss the real importance of the holiday. We become bogged down with shopping, baking, wrapping, travel plans, and the like and we lose sight of Advent. We have plenty of reminders like Christmas carols and songs, TV specials, traditional events and men in red suits on streetcorners. Still the meaning of the holiday is so easy to miss, even for a Christian. We become lost in tradition or busyness or anything which pulls our minds and our hearts out of God-mode.
I really hadn't considered the same effect on Easter, but it may be even more apparent here once you start to think about it. My Holy Week wasn't exceptionally holy, and I'm really quite sad about that. We had a short vacation on Friday and Saturday planned to coordinate with the only Spring Break our kids get from school. Earlier in the week I had the funeral of the two-and-a-half-month-old baby. We had a pizza party after worship on Palm Sunday and a carry-in breakfast between services on Easter. Plus I had two services on Easter to plan. Where did it all go?
I missed it.
I've blogged before about some of the Holy Week activities when I was a kid. Our church had services all week. Maunday Thursday was the Love Feast with footwashing and communion. It was special.
There are no Easter carols leading up to the big day. Sure, an occasional bunny appears on TV commercials and the store aisles fill up with bag after tempting bag of candy. But it would be easy to miss Easter altogether, let alone the meaning of the season. Unless I set aside specific time, Easter can fly right on past for the most part. The possibilities are lost. The clock is unable to be pushed back. I wait for next year like a deranged Cubs fan.
Fortunately, the Resurrection is celebrated every Sunday. That's the reason we gather on the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath, you know. Each and every Sunday is a celebration of the conquering of death. On every First Day we recognize that Christ provided the perfect sacrifice for us, and that the tomb that Sunday morning was empty. Our holiday is not annual, but weekly.
That way it's not so easy to miss.