A friend of mine recently posted a thoughtful reflection on a social media site. He said, “One of the things I love about Easter…at the end of the day, it’s still really hard to commercialize Jesus Christ being crucified on the cross and rising three days later.”
That really struck a chord in me.
So much of our existence, including our identity, has become saturated in consumerism, and even more so during holidays. The shopping frenzy that occurs at Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. is largely aimed at separating you from as much of your money as possible. There is little of it, however, in my opinion that is directed toward helping people meaningfully celebrate a given holiday.
Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older. Or maybe it’s because having a daughter has motivated me to reflect on how our family celebrates holidays. Or maybe God is stirring up a longing for deeper meaning in the church. At any rate, I too, find it encouraging that the holidays we observe during Lent, Holy Week and Easter pose a challenge for marketing & sales.
The very word holiday is derived from an Old English term that means literally “holy days.” Originally it referred only to special religious observances. But our use of the word holiday has evolved into a more general sense of a day off work or simply vacation. And while time off work is important and good, much of the fuller sense of the word holiday has been lost. Holidays are meant to reconnect us with our true identity.
As we continue to rediscover the liturgical calendar at Kingsview, there are opportunities to find rich meaning as followers of Jesus in this season of Lent and Easter. If you haven’t, it’s not too late to join in with others using the Lent reading & prayer guide, or to start fasting, or give something up for Lent. There are additional times of worship that are designed to help us draw closer to Jesus during this season; Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, join us on in reflective observance on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, celebrate with us on Easter Sunday.
Make the most of this special time of the year. It helps us to identify with Jesus, to remind us that we are not consumers, our identity is in fact, in Christ. “God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are God’s special treasure. You are all these things so that you can give him praise.” (1 Peter 2:9 NIRV)