Don't Go to Church on Easter Sunday

3.30.2013


If you're going to go to church, Easter Sunday and Christmas are THE days to make sure you're there. Churches are packed more on these two days than any day the rest of the year.

But here's what I want to know: why?
Why do those Sundays mean more than any other day to you if you aren't a believer in Jesus Christ?

Going to church doesn't get you bonus points. It won't get you into heaven, and it's not what is going to save you. So I don't understand why you would bother going to church at all if you don't care about what it actually means. 

Sometimes, I don't like going to church. I'm just being honest here. Sometimes I wish I could sleep in on Sunday mornings. Other people are all, "I don't go to church." And I think, "Man, that would be nice to have an extra day to sleep in."

Because in my selfish, sinner's mind, OF COURSE it would be nice to sleep in! (Some people go to church on Saturdays, which is fine too; my church just doesn't have that option.)

Still, I get up, every Sunday (or at least most Sundays), because I get the undeserved privilege of meeting with God along with fellow believers, and because God commanded it of us. It's not because I get brownie points or because I'm better than you.

Listen: I am not. 

But if you don't care about meeting with God, and if going to church on days like Easter Sunday or Christmas is a checkmark on your morality list, then I don't think you should bother coming at all.

Now, I'm sure this might make some people mad. I'm not saying don't ever come to church if you're not a Christian. It's good to come to church, and everyone is (or should be, in a perfect world) welcome no matter your background or the fact that you're wearing jeans or slacks or you're a former drug dealer or whatever your story is. Yes, Christians are hypocritical, which is a common reason I hear for people not going to church. But the fact that we're all hypocritical sinners is exactly the reason we need to go to church! 

I wish everyone went to church. But why go just on special holidays? We celebrate Easter because we are rejoicing in Jesus's resurrection, but we also do that every week. Going to church on Easter is essentially the same as going to church any other Sunday. There are just more pastels, and you can be sure you're going to sing the old hymn Christ the Lord is Risen Today. 

I guess my convoluted point here that I've been thinking about this week is: why do you go to church on Easter Sunday? Are you thankful for Jesus's sacrifice, or are you going because it's your yearly church check-in?

Sometimes, for me, it's hard to go to church. Right now with my job stuff, it's been hard to pray, hard to trust, hard to be joyful. But I also take comfort in this promise: 

So we do not lose heart.
Though our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us
an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
as we look not to the things that are seen 
but to the things that are unseen.

For the things that are seen are transient, 
but the things that are unseen are eternal.

-1 Corinthians 4:16-18

Christ the Lord has risen today. 
Love's redeeming work is done. 
Death in vain forbids him rise.
Christ has opened paradise. 
Alleluia. 

2 comments:

  1. John Wesley used a quadrilateral of scripture, tradition, experience, and reason as a means of understanding God & forming his faith. I like this model a lot. There's a lot of value in tradition. Although I'm an ever Sunday church goer, I totally understand the special holiday goers... I had my time as one of them as well. Sometimes the church & our faith in general are messy places, & they're certainly not the only places we encounter God. So while some my need space from the church because of the baggage they carry or whatever reason, touching base on occasion especially at a time of marked significance packed with memories of tradition and family & such might be just what is needed.

    For others, I'm sure you're totally right. But it's all a journey, right? So no judgement here.

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  2. Amanda,

    I've wondered about this, too. If it's not important, then why do it? But maybe part of the blame lies with us. Do we only invite our neighbors to church on the holidays? Do we only encourage family members to come because there's special music or the kids are performing?

    BTW, years ago I used to work in the church office. You should've heard the outrage of some "mothers of the brides" when they realized they had to pay (or had to pay more) to use the church's facilities because they weren't members or attenders. Having a church wedding is non-negotiable. Going to church, optional.

    ReplyDelete

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