Tuesday, 26 March 2013
A Lent of simplicity- Holy Week
Most people don't realize this, but Christmas is not the most important Christian holiday. Basically, when people began converting from pagan religions to Christianity in the early centuries, the church came up with several holidays to replace the celebrations that the people were already celebrating. They replaced those traditions with concepts that would center them on Jesus instead. It wasn't anything malevolent, they had already converted. But Christmas is one of those examples.
Easter, however, is totally different. Even though there are several traditions all over the world which celebrate life and growth in the springtime, that is not Easter. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, and the concept of actual physical resurrection is completely unique to the Bible.
Easter is the one holiday we have which is completely ours. It celebrates the most important singular event in Jesus' life.
In fact, unlike days like Christmas we actually know with certainty the day of the year it happened since the gospels show it so close to the Passover feast. There's very little about Jesus life that we can figure out chronologically with such detail.
So all of that to make this point. What are you doing to get ready for Easter? What are you doing to prepare yourself for this most important of days in the Christian year? It can be argued that everything in the Bible leads up to this event. Expecting it, preparing for it.
We've been going through lent with our focus on simplicity. The truth is that you can be as simple and centered as possible. But without a focus on something it's all useless. If you're not taking your push towards simplicity in order to prepare yourself and expect to experience more of God then what is it for?
Those of us who don't connect with more liturgical denominations oftentimes miss out on many of the things that those churches do to prepare themselves for Easter. That's what Lent was meant to be. But many of us often just spend our time leading up to Easter like any other time. We spend the week like any other short week. And then do we expect to experience something special with no preparation and no expectation?
The challenge this week is simple. Do something every day this week to prepare yourself for Easter. Mentally and spiritually. Pick one thing that you can do every day from now until Sunday which will remind you what it is that we're expecting and hoping for.