Keep Christ in Easter

In another thread, I commented on how we try to keep Jesus the focus for Resurrection Sunday (Easter). Our church sends out a weekly update, and here is a portion from one I sent out at the end of February. Perhaps some SI folks might want to consider these suggestions and SHARE what you do to put the focus where it belongs!

Quote:
This is what Pastor Ed & Marylu did

A lot of us have been more "secularized" than we care to admit. Here are some tips to "Keep Christ in Easter!"

The Easter Bunny has taken the spotlight away from Jesus' Resurrection. You can moderate that by emphasizing the "Lamb Theme" this Easter season.

Candy with a meaningful theme

You can search the web on your own, but I found one site that has both chocolate lambs and crosses: http://www.burtonsvilledutchmarket.com/ea_easter.asp; we also used chocolate Easter eggs (not everything is spiritual!)

Have a "Gentile Passover"

· We began a tradition of eating Leg of Lamb every Good Friday. We would read a Scripture about Jesus being the Lamb of God. After dinner, we would conduct family communion with grape juice and matzo. We would have 3 matzos, hide the center one, and use that for communion when found. Lamb & matzo are often available at Meijer's and sometimes Kroger's.

• When our church began having Good Friday services, we were able to move our dinner up to 4PM and celebrate communion twice, once at home and once again with the church family.

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Charlie's picture

Well, Ed, I go to church. Honestly, though, I don't celebrate the church calendar. I don't necessarily think it's evil, but I don't think God commanded us to celebrate Jesus' birthday (whenever that was) or, on a single day of the year, his resurrection. Every Sunday is a resurrection celebration and the resurrection, being part of the gospel, gets preached on pretty often at my church. Some people have added traditions on top of Scripture, and I won't issue a blanket condemnation of them as long as they really do help point people to Christ, but I don't think they have any moral force. If the whole church stopped celebrating Christmas and Easter, I don't think it would be a loss for Christianity; they're probably fairly insignificant.

I would be interested in my family attending a re-enacted Passover, because I do believe that it prefigured Christ and it would be educational and edifying to see it up close. On the other hand, I would not participate in any kind of "Gentile Passover," since that seems to me to be a conflation of redemption history. Once the light has come, there is no place for shadow. I wouldn't participate in a "Gentile burnt offering" or a "Gentile circumcision."

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Ed Vasicek's picture

Charlie said:

Quote:
I would be interested in my family attending a re-enacted Passover, because I do believe that it prefigured Christ and it would be educational and edifying to see it up close. On the other hand, I would not participate in any kind of "Gentile Passover," since that seems to me to be a conflation of redemption history. Once the light has come, there is no place for shadow. I wouldn't participate in a "Gentile burnt offering" or a "Gentile circumcision."

Thanks for your thoughts, Charlie. No, I am not saying that celebrating Good Friday or Resurrection Sunday is necessary; I am saying that I and many others consider it meaningful. There is no mandate for Sunday School, for example, but I think it is a good way to advance Biblical purposes.
But Christians somehow managed for 1700 years without it.

As far as a gentile passover, we do this as a FAMILY, not as a church. We have had Seder demos here at the church a number of times.

Like you, I would not want to witness a gentile circumcision Smile But my convictions are that the Lord's Supper is a segment of the Passover ritual, and so we liked to put it back in its context a little. Are you familiar with the Afikomen and the 3 loaves of matzo that are hidden in it? The second one is removed, hidden, and the child who finds it gets a reward. This is the matzo that is broken and consumed, and I believe Christ was saying, "You have been doing this for centuries, but all along this pictured that my body would be broken." The imagery of the second of three matzos being removed, hidden, broken, and reward given to those who find it provides a great tool to teach your children about the Trinity, the kenosis, how Jesus was hidden from the Jewish people, how those who find him are rewarded, etc.

This is probably material with which you are already familiar, but I have never been able to get over its meaningfulness -- or usefulness.

As far as a Good Friday service goes, our church rarely has "solemn times." We might experience such times around communion, but our Good Friday service is really a focused communion service. It is the one time when we encourage people to leave quietly or fellowship in another areas of the building. We don't do much of that here; if our communion services were longer and more solemn, we probably would not find the Good Friday service as meaningful. But that is where we are at (and I am happy with that, personally). But these issues are matters of judgment and are certainly NOT Scripturally mandated.

As far as the shadow goes, re-enacting as re-enacting helps bring further appreciation for the light. Instituting the rituals of the Law for the church would not be something I would be interested in doing, but re-enacting them to further our appreciation for their spiritual significance is something I find quite edifying.

"The Midrash Detective"