I get it.
Most people grew up in church. It became a weekly ritual. For the very religious ones, attendance required three visits per week. Minimum.
Then annual observances became the norm. Christmas to celebrate the birth of Christ. Easter, His resurrection. There’s a myriad of documents, theories, and arguments about the actual time frame of His birth. We won’t get into that.
I see a trend in Christian circles, and quite frankly, it grieves me deeply.
I’m not here to beat you over the head with the true meaning of these holidays. Jesus instead of presents and commercialization. Jesus instead of Easter egg hunts and candy. Regardless of origins, no one is going to Hell if they participate in those activities.
It’s ludicrous to even think that way.
Jesus paid too high a price for us to only honor Him twice a year.
This weekend, thousands, if not millions will don their fancy clothes, paint on an extra layer of make-up, and walk into a building to thank the Nazarene for everything He accomplished over 2,000 years ago.
Some will become angry on the way to church, overcome with an undeniable swell of road rage. Some will purposely walk right past at least three homeless people, holding onto merely a shadow of empty hopes and faded cardboard signs. Some will verbally abuse their spouse as they exit the car in the parking lot. Some will smile at the greeters standing just inside the front doors. Some will avoid eye contact.
People, who haven’t attend church on a Sunday since the first episode of The Walking Dead premiered, will suddenly appear on Easter Sunday. Why is that?
We’ve been trained that if there is one day not to skip out on church, it’s Easter. We can live like Hell all year, but if we walk through the doors on that Sunday, that special Sunday, it’s all good. God will overlook everything else.
It’s time to punch religion square in the face and start acting like the people Jesus died for.
It’s time to stop playing church on Sunday and start being the Church every day of the week.
God peered down the timeline of history and hand-picked us to breathe life. He was excited at the prospect of living inside of us. Living inside of His very own creation.
Jesus didn’t hang on a tree just so we could recite a quick prayer and have our card punched for the train ride to Heaven. He hung there so we could die to our self and follow Him.
We should be on our knees every single day thanking Him for the ultimate sacrifice. Thanking Him for being the example of love we don’t have time to be.
If we’ve reduced the Gospel to an Easter or Christmas story, shame on us.
We have the incredible opportunity and privilege to be ambassadors for our Creator. We were formed from dust of the Earth, but yet our Maker wants to live through us. He wants us to show the world what love looks like.
Jesus was our example. He modeled Christianity for three years. Out in public. Where everyone could see what it meant to live a selfless life. He left instructions for all generations to follow Him.
Stop thinking you deserve to have a good life here on Earth. Stop thinking you deserve the praise of man. Stop thinking you deserve to be treated better at work.
If we want what we truly deserve, we can saddle up the horse and start heading south. Way south. What we deserve is Hell. Jesus went through Hell so we wouldn’t have too. And we only want to pay Him homage twice a year?
Come on, Church. Come on, Saints. We can do better than that.
Jesus was born, crucified, and emerged from an empty tomb. For us. He gave it all so we could once again be reconciled back to our Father. Our original Father. The One from Whom all of life springs forth.
People need hope. People need love. If you are truly born again, there are no unlovable or unreachable people. I’m tired of hearing those words spoken. Those people don’t exist to anyone who has truly become love. Everyone has potential, destiny, and created value. It’s that simple.
Jesus is so much more than a holiday.
He’s the very reason for our existence.