Saturday, 31 March 2007

Why bother with Easter?

It's easy to think that all religious festivals and celebrations are unnecessary for the Christian. After all, we're no longer bound to celebrate days and seasons, as the New Testament makes clear. We have the Spirit and so every day is full of Christ. Now, this is an amazing reality and yet, there is a danger for us here. For, if we take this to mean that we abandon any kind of religious calendar, we may well simply be accepting our culture's secularization of time. Our culture sees time purely in abstract, solar/scientific terms (seconds, hours, days, years etc). It has no meaning - it is empty. But when we look at the OT we see that their calendar was structured around festivals centred on the LORD: Passover, Pentecost, Day of Atonement etc. And, of course, the very notion of a 'week' continually echoes His creation. Thus, the LORD defined their time and calendar. Time was not an empty thing but was centred on the LORD and His salvation.

Given that we cannot avoid structuring and defining time, how shall we do it? Are we in danger of simply following our culture's secularization of time? Do we see time as empty or filled by the LORD? Easter can simply be a holiday for us i.e. defined by work and my interests. But, surely, it is a way of defining time by the cross and resurrection. Rest from work is not for ourselves but for celebrating the LORD and His salvation. Surely, that's a good reason to bother with Easter.