Sunday, April 24, 2011
In our family, we do our level best not to lie. There may be times when what we say turns out not to be true, but that's an error, not a lie. So we don't use terms like "To tell you the truth" and "well, honestly" very often. Now that means that we have to carefully consider each word, and decide each time whether to speak at all, answer with what we know to be true, or lead the conversation in a different direction. But we don't lie.
There are times when you just get trapped. A new mom brings her baby up and someone says "isn't it beautiful?" and looks over at you. Well beloved, I've got two sons who were babies once, and they weren't always beautiful. After all, they have my genes too, not just those of my beautiful wife. There were stages when they were... in transition. :)
You still loved them, but they weren't beautiful.
I write all that to get to this - It hurts when I hear people say "I'm not going to be there on Easter." Easter matters. If a Christian would rather be at the beach than in worship of God on Easter, then I must be way off on what God expects our hearts to be attuned to.
It's the spirit of the age, I guess. Preferences trump piety. The Body of Christ isn't something you invest your life into, for you it's another charm, trinket, or badge you put on when you feel like it. Your local church isn't the place God called you into to strengthen, to serve through, to be a part of - for you it's just one of the franchises and if another has a better menu, you move there.
All over the world, people are gathering today even though by the very act of doing so, they risk death. In Iraq, in Nigeria, in Indonesia, in India, in China and other places, Christians recognize that celebrating the resurrection is important - is something you HAVE to do - "we love, because He first loved us" reaction to Jesus' actions on our behalf. They see their brothers and sisters as indispensable parts of a whole community of faith that's worth investing everything into for as long as God needs them there.
Love you guys, but honestly, this - Easter is optional, my church doesn't matter behavior isn't beautiful.