This past Sunday was a wonderful Easter celebration at First Southern, Guthrie. I was enjoying the cantata when something caught my eye. Just in front of the communion table lay a purple bunny – a stuffed animal no doubt dropped by a child who’d come forward moments before to put coins in the OBHC offering house. We do this each week – the kids know they can come forward to give an offering for the children’s home ministry of Oklahoma Baptists.
Anyway, there the bunny was. I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a bit of levity. When the time came for me to go on the stage and preach a (hopefully) glorious Easter sermon, I paused, and leaning over, dramatically picked up the bunny and held it up for the audience to see. I declared, “Apparently, the Easter Bunny made it to church!” It was a good moment to lighten the intensity of the hour.
Intensity – there surely is a whole lot of energy and intentional effort that goes into preparations for Easter. This is true of our church, but it’s also true for many families. For those with little children, there is the purchasing of plastic eggs and the Sunday morning ritual of hiding them for the delightful discovery of eager hands.
Then, of course, there are the Easter Sunday luncheons and gatherings that bring families together for a moment of fellowship and maybe a basketball game, sleepily observed during the afternoon. But alas, as the day draws to a close, it’s cleanup time in preparation for settling down into the normal routines of life.
After the holiday hype dies down sometimes there is a bit of disappointment. After all, the anticipation is over and the experience is complete. Or is it?
With other holidays we have a day off and maybe a cookout or a gathering or two, depending on the season. The day ends and life goes back to normal. There can be a bit of a letdown.
But I think Easter is different. If the main point of Easter is celebrating the crucified, buried, resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord of all creation, Jesus Christ, then every day is a celebration of the One who is life. Every Sunday is homage to our resurrected Lord Jesus. For the Christian, every day should be a reflection on the Gospel.
I like the explanation of the Gospel written between the contents page and the introduction of David Platt’s new book Counter Culture.
“The Gospel – the good news that the just and gracious creator of the universe has looked upon hopelessly sinful men and women and has sent his Son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to bear his wrath against sin on the cross and to show his power over sin in the resurrection, so that everyone who turns from their sin and themselves and trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord will be reconciled to God forever.”
After the Easter worship service was over, a dad sheepishly came up to me smiling saying, ”Thanks for outing me on my bunny!” Of course, we got a laugh out of that, both enjoying the innocence of his child dropping the Easter bunny in front of the communion table.
In imagination world, the Easter bunny has hopped away for the year not to return until stores turn our attention to brightly-colored eggs, bunnies, and baskets next spring. But for the Christian, it’s not about the bunny anyway; it’s always about Jesus. Since this is true, we get to celebrate the life of Jesus every day of each year. We don’t need a bunny to remind us. He is risen – still!