This probably should be a sermon not an exhortation, though I am at least going to roll it into another mini series with the theme: Make Easter Great Again.
We are gathered together to worship as Christians so I’m going to assume that you love Easter, as in, you boast in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Why, though, does Christmas/the Incarnation tend to get all the good promotion? Even the colors are better, deeper, less pastel-y. As my wife and I recently lamented, how are you supposed to find manly Easter things for your boys?
Many of us have been lengthening our Christmas anticipation for the whole month of December, talking about advent and building anticipation for the big day.
When it comes to preparing for Easter, some parts of the church talk about Lent, a forty-plus day period of fasting, abstinence, self-examination, and feeling bad about your sin in order to remember Christ’s fasting in the wilderness along with His sacrifice. Without saying that Christians shouldn’t ever fast or give things up for sake of Christ, is that really how to make Easter great in our hearts?
Typical Lenten attitude is not even consistent with what the death and resurrection of Christ do for believers. Paul told the Colossians, “if with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world,” then don’t commit yourself to “asceticism and severity to the body” that are “of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (Colossians 2:20-23).
And “if…you have been raised with Christ,” then “seek the things that are above,” “set your minds on things above.” But these earthly things to avoid aren’t things that can be touched and tasted, they are “what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness” (Colossians 3:1-5).
My point is, in order to Make Easter Great Again, give up your sin, don’t just give up things that “have an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion” (Colossians 2:23). Don’t give up His gifts, give up your envy of other persons with different gifts. More to come in order to #mega.