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!