Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter v. Christmas

With Easter, I find that Family Time Weekend, Monday Morning Theologian, and Working Wednesday have all combined into one.

Actual bread (baked by my father in law) and cup used in church
Which Holiday has customarily been the biggest day of the year?  Christmas?


As Easter 2012 is now in the history books, some personal thoughts about where Easter fits in my life this year.

As I understand my church history, Easter - the celebration of Jesus's resurrection - has always been "the most wonderful time of the year."  This started changing during the mid 1800s as Christmas - the celebration of Jesus's incarnation - began to gain more and more prominence.  Some attribute Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol in 1843 to be one of the turning points.

What I've noticed in my world, by contrast, is that I see a lot of slow down for Christmas (even by any other name).  Offices and workplaces have luncheons or parties.  Schools and universities take two weeks off.  At our house, we have a "how many days until Christmas" countdown, the Christmas Tree, the lights, and I make a big deal out of everything.  Despite the hustle of the season, with presents to buy, cookies to bake, cards to send, we eagerly anticipate December 25 and proclaim "Merry Christmas!" to one and all!  Once again, I am a kid.

Unfortunately for Easter, if I'm not careful, and if we all are not careful, we miss it, the Holiest Day of the Year.  Why?

For me, there is too much work to do.  This year, the week before and after Easter are my busiest two professional weeks of the year.  Income Tax Season is no respected of Holidays.  Good thing Easter is on a Sunday, I am fortunate enough to work for a firm that doesn't want us to work Sundays.

For others, I wonder if the opposite is true - there is too much leisure.  Many families had left town for Spring Break.  Did they miss out?

It takes commitment and discipline for me to stop and marvel at what this time of year represents, the greatest moment in human history, the resurrection of Jesus.  It is harder to assume an attitude of praise because it competes for attention on my already waiting list schedule.  My 10 year old wanted to play outside one night this week after I got home.  I was exhausted.  Either allergies or colds are threatening the good health of our household

Waiting for family to arrive...
Despite this all, this past weekend shaped up nicely.  Good Friday at church helped set the mood.  Saturdays in the office was a shorter day because we all had preparations.  Sunday, after Easter Church, Darling Bride and I hosted Easter Dinner for extended family.  I had not seen my own mom in two months.  We still give Easter baskets to the kids - books!

My biggest thanks is that I did not miss Easter this year.  Did you miss Easter?  It is not too late!  The first Christians changed their say of worship from Saturday to Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  So every Sunday is like Easter, and next week is a new chance.

1 comment:

  1. If only all understood and believed! As I said at breakfast, I think people seized Christmas as a winter festival because they needed something to get through the long dark nights!