by Pastor George Van Alstine
Easter Sunday is a very special day for Christians, since it commemorates the moment in history when Jesus conquered death for all of us. We celebrate this in a number of ways. People flock to churches who have not attended for months. Traditionally, they wear their finest clothes to demonstrate the victory and optimism the Easter story portrays. Choirs and musicians present ambitious expressions of praise they have spent weeks preparing. Some hardy worshipers actually begin the day with a 6:00 AM outdoor service. Even non-religious Easter practices, such as hunting for colored Easter eggs, focus on new life and new beginnings.
Maybe our faith would be more upbeat and triumphant if we celebrated Easter more often than once a year. Well, as a matter of fact, we do. Each Sunday is actually an Easter service. Before Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, people of the Jewish faith worshiped on the Old Testament Sabbath, the last day of the week, or Saturday. It was because Jesus rose on the first day that Sunday became known as “The Lord’s Day” and was established as the Christian day of worship. Since then, each and every Sunday has been, in a sense, an Easter Sunday. That gives us fifty-two a year.
Actually, we are involved in a life vs. death struggle every hour of every day. The Apostle Paul uses the words “spirit” and “flesh” to describe the kind of tension we live in:
“You are not in the flesh; you are in the spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. . . .
If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.” (Romans 8:9-11)
I believe this means that every little struggle in someone’s life in which the person chooses “spirit” over “flesh” is another celebration of Easter!
If we became more aware of the significance of Jesus’ resurrection in our day-to-day living, what a difference it would make! We’d be in a constant Easter Parade of celebration, not one day a year, not fifty-two days a year, but 24/7!