Hey, if you’re looking for a church to visit for Easter this Sunday, don’t come to mine.
Don’t JUST come, I should say.
If you’re looking for somewhere to go so you can feel spiritual for 90 minutes, stay home. If you just want to get your semi-annual Jesus on, please, by all means, skip it. If you don’t come regularly to church to worship with other believers during the year, why come on Easter? It’s like posting “Happy Birthday, girlfriend!” on the Facebook wall of the person you never ever talk to, except in this case, Easter is Jesus’s death day or, more accurately, His Resurrection day, so it’s even more important.
You say “But the hypocrites! THE HYPOCRITES!” To which I say I feel personally attacked, because what do you think I am? Someone who is never two-faced and catty? I’m working on it, okay?
I used to struggle with this: wake up early and Jesus, or jammies and chocolate? Jesus, chocolate? Jesus, chocolate? Thankfully this issue has been resolved by Russel Stover and I can purchase a chocolate cross, so now I be reppin’ Christ while I stuff my face. Life as a modern American Christian has never been sweeter.
But I digress.
Don’t just come to church. Don’t come once and never come back. Don’t come and forget.
Come and remember. Come and stay. Come and believe. Have hope. Serve. Encourage. Be salt and be light, everyday.
If you do come to my church, sit by me. Sing with me. Pray with me. Hold my hand if you want. Come to my house afterward. I will cook you food. You can eat my chocolate cross. JK, I already ate it.
I will tell you about my God.
I will tell you how much more I love Him with every passing day.
I will tell you how much I struggle to honor Him with a life marked by His heart of uncompromising peace, radical forgiveness, and unconditional love.
I will tell you that my God made you beautiful. He made me beautiful, too, even when I am ugly. And I am ugly like, a lot.
But He made me in His image from the dust of this earth. He made every brilliant and beautiful thing on this planet.
I will tell you about the God I love who IS the God Who Loves.
This God could’ve let the entire world rot in its wickedness. He could’ve left us to our selfish pursuits, our power struggles, and our endless cycles of violence and war. He could’ve left me to trudge through life in my brokenness.
Revealed Himself as Love, and showed us another way, a better way; Jesus–the word made flesh, God in human form.
I can’t fathom it. I can’t fully understand it or articulate it but the fact remains that God is God and God is Jesus and Jesus is Love so God is Love.
Easter is Love. Easter is peace. Easter is Hope.
I mean yeah sure there’s some ancient pagan holiday that celebrates with eggs and that’s awesome because, eggs.
But I associate some seriously good news with the Christian Easter. Jesus y’all!!! He was the original gangster, hated by the establishment, plotted against by the powers that be; He was accused and mocked and beaten and tortured and murdered, and how did he return serve? By turning the other cheek. By refusing to bow to Satan’s way of violence and hatred, He stuck it to the man in the biggest and best way ever.
He lived a model life of peace and forgiveness, and He wasn’t about to go out like a sucker, kicking and screaming and raining down all kinds of wrath and vengeance. We howled for His violent and humiliating death, and with a rebel yell Jesus took up a cross and said “this is the way”.
He didn’t conquer His enemies with a “GOD HATES (fill in the blank)” sign. He didn’t conquer His enemies with the 2nd amendment. He didn’t conquer them in a voting booth. He didn’t conquer enemies by traditional human means. He conquered His enemies by praying for them and by shedding His blood for them. He gave His life so that we would know true love. He didn’t become sin; He BEAT sin. He beat death. He beat darkness. By not bowing to the system, He beat the system.
And on the third day, He rose. He didn’t say “Alright fools, I warned you I’d be back. You done messed up now!” He said simply, “Peace be with you.”
This is my hope. This is my God. This is what a loving Father is like. This is what sacrifice is. This is the reason I celebrate. This is what I want for you. Jesus, Love. Salt and Light. In a church and in your heart.