By Mike Day
This past Sunday, Christians around the world celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. Easter Sunday is the Super Bowl for the church. A lot of planning, energy, and resources go into making this day special for all who gather.
After worship, most of Easter Sunday afternoon is spent with family and friends sharing a meal, having several engaging conversations, and looking for a few hidden easter eggs. As a kid, I recall all the Easters at my grandma’s along with my cousins. My grandma prepared a spread of ham, chicken, dressing, and potato salad. Following dinner, the adults circled up in lawn chairs in the front yard while we kids ran crazy looking for plastic colored eggs hidden in bushes, under rocks, and one or two money eggs tucked into my uncle Sonny’s baseball cap under his chair.
But isn’t Easter Resurrection supposed to be more?
I realize Jesus’ disciples spent that first Resurrection Sunday fearful and bewildered. I’m not sure they felt like eating much, and they certainly weren’t interested in hiding colored eggs for the kiddos to find. Stunned by the missing body of Jesus, it took more than one “He’s Alive!” testimony to shake them from their grief and launch them to a new way of life.
After several days of absorbing that the God of creation had raised Jesus from the dead, these men and women began grasping how the resurrection of Jesus changed everything for them. Although at first, they thought they could easily move back into their earlier careers, they soon discovered catching fish or running a business would no longer fulfill their sense of purpose. They realized that since Jesus is alive, then all his teachings about life are no longer just fond memories but mandates for what they do.
In just a few months after that initial Resurrection Day, a movement had started that sent shock waves not just throughout Jerusalem but the entire Roman Empire. What began with a whisper circulated among fearful disciples, became a resounding shout as fishermen turned preachers proclaimed the Good News in packed neighborhoods and villages as well as town centers and government buildings. Life would never be the same!
When you remember that we didn’t even gather in person last year on account of Covid, this Easter did seem special. I can’t help but wonder, however, if those first disciples would challenge me on lowering the bar for defining Easter special. While I love seeing life come back to normal, I question if I’ve settled for getting back to the ease of familiar rather than let the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection really grip my life. Have I moved more into an adult pursuit of colored plastic eggs and hidden money eggs, rather than living the radical teachings of the resurrected Jesus?
Easter Sunday has passed, but the Risen Lord challenges me today.