When you walk down the center aisle of any mega store like Target or (God help you) WalMart you’re always reminded of what holiday you’re supposed to be gearing up for. As soon as one Holiday is done we start thinking about the next one and each year is a new cycle and seems to bring more pressure to perform, decorate, cook and above all else, BUY. MORE. STUFF!
I love celebration but sometimes I think that we are doing it all wrong these days and wearing ourselves out all while missing out on the thing we’re meant to remember.
Yesterday was Easter, and perhaps one of the loveliest Easters I’ve ever had. This weekend we went to a super cute pinkilicious birthday party, an easter egg hunt party full of friends and a small and scrumptious Easter dinner with our friends Joely and Jason. This weekend was a gift and none went deeper than Easter morning, in the middle of the church message, which really hit home for me, I realized that Easter had just earned a spot as my new over all favorite holiday.
I’ve always held the #1 spot to Christmas, but to be honest I’m beginning to dread December. This is really sad because it’s been favorite month of the year for my whole life, I measure my year by it. The problem is that I haven’t figured out a way to do Christmas without insane stress. I want to, but I’m just not there yet and so every year I get caught up in making or buying the perfect thing. Before Christmas ever arrives I’m too drained to savor the season or find much of Jesus in it at all. I know, sad.
Easter on the other hand doesn’t bring with it so much work and it leaves so much more brain space to tumble around the story and the impact of the cross and empty tomb. I’m allowed to get all swept up in Holy Week and the Easter season and I emerge from it deeply nourished by the game changer that is Easter Sunday.
Also when I really reflect on the Christmas manger and its precious gift I find myself thinking of all he has ahead of him and I’m left feeling guilty and torn. This infant will grow up knowing that he’ll suffer and die for me, I don’t deserve that. He’s perfect and precious and my momma heart aches at knowing that his own mom watched him endure unspeakable torture on my behalf.
But Easter is the key that makes every other part of our story unlock. It is the end to what Christmas began. All the pain and the suffering of Christ is behind him and he beat death to a pulp permanently, the sting is gone! My too busy mind is strangely happy that we can celebrate his checked off to-do list. Be born: Check, Gather a posse of disciples: check, Die: check, Beat Death: Boom! check check.
That checked off list means our lives make sense! When I go forward to take communion each Sunday, this final checked box brings the redemption and restoration we are all so hungry for.
Perhaps right now I’m all wrapped up in Easter Sunday and not allowing myself to reap the deep benefits of the manger and the cross. I know that they are all the story of one God/Man, our precious savior however I think my frail humanity would explode if it all hit me at once. The sheer volume and depth contained in the story of Jesus from the prophecies to the empty tomb is more than one mind can process in a lifetime, let alone a weekend or a moment.
Easter is our freedom and we live Forever Sunday. That empty tomb is our comfort and the reason we have hope! We are constantly being rescued and restored by it and spending time to celebrate that makes it my new favorite.