BY STEVE DUNN
Long ago, in my early preaching days, I came across this little story. It’s probably apocryphal but contain at least a kernel of reality.
A Sunday school teacher was teaching a group of four-year-olds. It was Easter Sunday and she asked, ”Does anyone know what today is?” One little girl raised her hand and said, ”It’s Easter.” The teacher complimented her and then asked, ”Does anyone know what makes Easter so special?” The same little girl raised her hand and said, ”Easter is special because Jesus rose from the dead…” Before the teacher could compliment her, the little girl added, ”but if He sees His shadow, He has to go back in for seven weeks.”
Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian year, but it’s prime value to most Americans is to create a convenient spring break. Many could recount the first half of the little girl’s answer, but for them it has little personal significance. There was a time when even our more secular population put on their finery to join Mom and Dad at the family church to attend a worship service before rushing off to fight for a spot at a local restaurant serving dinner on a Sunday when few people wanted to cook. Now with less and less of the population having any Christian roots, it’s a sunny day to be enjoyed in some other family activity that probably won’t include even a prayer.
But Easter is the celebration of the day when God took the sting out of death. It is the day God decisively declared that sin need not be our master and invited us once again into a life of hope that would not disappoint us. It is the day of Resurrection–not some seasonal cycle of the planet, but the transformed destiny of a people who once again could become a people who loved and served God with their whole being. A destiny that was more than now-it was eternal.
The apostle Peter perhaps said it best: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – I Peter 1.3-5
And more recently the late Johnny Hart described it this way:
© 2015 by Stephen L Dunn
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