the most important holy-day of the year

My pastor said last Sunday that Easter is the most important holiday of the year.  

More important than Christmas.  Because Christmas exists to make Easter possible.  

We should get this Christians.  This should be obvious to us.  But the culture tells us something different, so if we aren’t being really intentional, then we are taken along on auto-pilot, having Christmas be the big one and Easter a kind of nice spring-y  time of song-singing at church and fancy dresses for the girls.

I remember quite vividly the first time the reality of what Easter should be hit me.  

I was 15 and in Mexico City, Mexico.  The youth group went to Mexico City each year to help out the two missionary couples from our denomination who served and lived there.  We mostly worked with their youth and did whatever was most helpful for them.  We shared the Gospel, invited the neighborhood to church, ran a camp for the youth, did VBS, etc.  

The first year we went was over spring break and over Easter.  I remember reading my Bible in the morning and reading in the Gospels of all that transpired from the time in the Garden up to His resurrection.  It just dawned on me that I had walked through Easter many times never realizing the fullness of what it represented.  

I also began to feel an angst over the fact that Christmas was made so much of and Easter was not.

And, at 15, began to wonder, how do we fix this??!  This is a great tragedy!  I’d say I was partly right.  The culture has hi-jacked our holidays in ways that are not helpful.  But that’s not the main problem.  

The main problem exists in my own heart.  No one can keep me from making much of the glory Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter.  And, in making much of Easter, Christmas doesn’t get smaller, it gets bigger.  In the kingdom of God Christmas and Easter don’t compete, they compliment.

I don’t have to make Christmas small to make Easter big.  

Instead the more I love God and Christ and His death and resurrection the more Easter gets big and so does Christmas.  It’s the same principle that C.S. Lewis speaks of when he says that the more we love our first and best love, namely God, the better and more we will love our second love, our spouse and children, etc.  Love for the best thing increases, not diminishes, our love for second things.  

So it is with Easter and Christmas.

What ways have you all employed to make much of this most-important holy-day called Easter?  Do you have any traditions that help to focus your and your family’s hearts on God-Man who was made a curse for us?  

Let’s look at Jesus, the One who must be lifted up like the serpent, and love Him together!

4 thoughts on “the most important holy-day of the year

  1. Hey Abigail!

    This is something I’ve thought about for a long time now, and today I realized that I’m thankful that Easter isn’t like Christmas.

    Christmas is so commercialized and hyped up, and with all of that, it is SO easy to get caught up in the music, the lights, and everything else.

    But Easter hasn’t been hit with the consumer craziness like Christmas (sure there’s the Easter bunny, eggs, and marshmallow Peeps, but those are less than most holidays). There’s a pure simplicity to Easter that makes it so much more lovely and when you realize the meaning behind the day, how can it not be the best day of the year?

  2. Thanks Warren! Very true! I do wish Christmas was simpler in many regards.

    One more thing to think about. The benefit to Christmas in our hyped up Christmas culture is that at least its consumer traditions still carry a flavor of the real meaning, like stars, angels, nativities on every corner, even a tree and gift giving.

    So, if you are a Christian, you can take advantage of those with your kids (and yourself) and really emphasize the real meaning. In that sense, the culture helps me, as a mom, trying to teach the kids what it’s about. Although there is *plenty* to distract us as well! But at least there’s some good stuff out there.

    With Easter, the culture seems to me to be purely secular in its celebration. So, I won’t find a scene of Christ’s death and resurrection at Target, like I would of the nativity at Christmas. In that way, I’m on my own in making it a big deal for my family and our celebration.

    Thanks for contributing!!! A pleasure and joy to sing and worship with you on Wed.. and Thursday.. and Saturday.. and Sunday too! 🙂

  3. Hi love honesty in the above discourse . Most of the times when a holiday is highly seculerised or becomes comercial its good to check out its roots the origins if you know what i mean .
    look at the Eggs in Easter.
    the bunnies.
    the name Easter its origins Judges 2:11, 1Samuel. 7:3-4
    Its good to find out where the dates come in too ,the 25th of December. The Christmas tree .You might want to check out Jeremiah 10 :1 onwards on that the tree . I only learn about these things last year.I never knew that these Holidays were invented even before Christ came on the seen.Only then i realize they had nothing to do with Jesus Christ.
    Hope the decline hasn’t touch you and yours.
    God Bless you and your Family .

  4. I think you are right, and I think this is partly because of how we handle other events in life. We celebrate a baby’s birth much differently than we celebrate someone’s going home to be with the Lord.

    Jesus’ birth, if we think of the crucifixion to come, would be tempered with sorrow over what he suffered, as Easter is.

    I really try to take opportunities at Christmas to talk to people about why Jesus was born–to save us from our sins. It’s on our Christmas cards, too. I try to get the cards that best communicate this.

    And in our home, although we do color eggs and put Gospel messages on them, and we do give the kids Easter baskets with some candy but we also put Gospel books and items in them, we really make the focus our conversations and decorations and celebrations on the passion and resurrection.

    We participate in an Easter musical at our church so this really keeps the reason for the season in front of us all through the season.

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