Another year and another Easter weekend has come and gone. Around the building, I like to refer to Easter as the Christian Super Bowl. It’s a big deal and a good bit of our year (not to mention the theological implications of our entire faith) revolve around the idea and weekend of resurrection. I had a friend, a pastor as well, tweet on Sunday that pulling out of the parking lot following the last service of Easter weekend is like getting in the car after you take your last final. You are full of all the feels - excitement, accomplishment, joy, but mostly exhaustion.
I’ve spent the last couple of days reflecting on our weekend at CBC, and one idea keeps surfacing - celebration. If there is a reason or time to celebrate as Christians, it’s Easter. And, the whole premise of greater life found in Jesus. The hope that God’s not done with this place quite yet and something new and better can and will emerge, hinges around the idea of Christ rising from the dead.
Psalms 100 is one of my favorites. It’s only five short verses, but David so well captures the idea of celebration. It’s an emotional, passionate response to a faithful God who gives identity, security, and love. Throughout the scriptures, God paints pictures of celebrations as an honoring and almost natural response to Him. In the Old Testament, God actually forced the people to celebrate seven times a year at appointed feasts. He built the practice of celebration in to their rhythm of life, which are still practiced by Jewish people of faith today. If you want to see God honoring celebration done well, spend a passover with a messianic church. The next morning will be a two cup of coffee day.
We celebrate Easter weekend, but all weekends should be celebrated because every weekend we tell the story of Easter in one way or another. Every time we gather as a church we are talking of the hope that Jesus is risen and through His victory we are given something better. Most weeks, I think we do a much better job of practicing somberness than we do celebrating.
I want to celebrate better as a church. I want the hour and ten minutes (or as the staff will all too quickly point out the hour and twenty if I’m teaching) we gather on Sundays to more echo the words of David in Psalm 100 -
"1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation."
There are times as a church when we need to be somber, reverent, and reflective. Those are good. But I wonder what it would look like if we celebrated as well as we contemplated, and we shouted as often as we were somber.
I want to be a church that celebrates. I want people to walk away with more life than they carried in on Sundays, and I want it to happen on more Sunday’s than the super bowl kind.