Today, around the world, is what is commonly known as “Easter Sunday.”
Don’t worry–no lectures from me today on the origins of the word “Easter” (well I mean yes, it’s pagan, but you can probably just browse your Facebook news feed to hear about that), nor will I browbeat you on your choice to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord on a day that is slightly different than the actual anniversary of His Resurrection.
I am not a celebrator of pagan things, in fact there are many worldly practices that derive from quasi-pagan origins that I adamantly oppose. I just feel like that point has been adequately made by many before me, so that’s not what I’m here to say today.
What you need to know today is that if you are gathering together with the Body of Christ today to commemorate His Victory over sin and death, you are celebrating the greatest Victory of all humanity!
And I won’t fault you for that.
Cyclical vs. Eternal Events
I do, however, have an issue with the spirit of many types of cultural traditions that some aspects of Easter Sunday are derived from.
The thing is, many pagan holidays that coincide with seasonal changes, like Osatara/”Easter”, celebrate cycles.
I used to practice Wicca when I was a young girl, and I took particular interest in the annual cycle that pagans celebrated. In Spring, fertility and birth are celebrated, in many cultures, as the earth awakens from its winter slumber.
It is easy to see why the ancient traditions of the pagans and the Christian celebration of the Resurrection of Christ began to blur together at some point in history, whatever the real history of that is because Christ’s resurrection taking place in springtime coincides with the “rebirth” of the earth.
That being said, it is celebrating this as a cyclical occurrence that I find to be heretical. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with commemorating His resurrection, however…
It is incredibly important to realize that it is not a cycle that we celebrate. Christ only rose once.
Our Victory has been won! He does not die, to rise again, every year, as the pagan gods do. His Resurrection was the ultimate Victory over death, that happened once and for all, and we can always rely upon this.
It’s cliche, I know, but today we celebrate what we must celebrate equally every day of the year! Every trial we face, every inkling of fear we experience, every opportunity for ministry we are presented with; we must celebrate this Victory, and live it every single day.
He lives, today and for all of eternity. And He will return!
The same Jesus Christ who walked the earth 2000 years ago lives today, and His Spirit dwells in us on earth. Getting caught up on arguments of which day is which, and how we ought to honor His Resurrection best, can be a snare. Be careful not to negate our brothers and sisters as they glory in this Great Victory. The Spirit that dwells in all of us will ultimately dictate our conduct, and if He is with you, His fruits will be evident. So you might find yourself straying far from the leadership of His Spirit today as you argue with other Christians online about the fruitfulness of celebrating Resurrection today.
In the past, I’ve been negative about “Easter”, and this Sunday, and the way others choose to celebrate it. I’m not perfect, and I’m not saying I condone every aspect of what has become a largely worldly and often times even heretical annual ritual.
But this year, I simply stand in awe of what it is that we remember this day. I can’t even conceive what a price He paid for me, and the battle He fought and won for me. And I am so grateful for my brothers and sisters who form the Body together with me.
So while I don’t necessarily condone every aspect of this holiday, I know that many are genuinely worshipping and celebrating Christ.
Let Him live on, through us, and let His Spirit rule in our hearts, today and always. This doesn’t happen once a year, but it has been true for thousands of years, and will continue on for eternity. And remember…