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Easter is More than an Anniversary

By April 6, 2007No Comments

Over the years, God has made me increasingly aware of how greatly my daily habits shape me. The more I watch popular t.v. shows with teeny tiny actresses, the more I feel insecure about my body. The more I complain about things, the harder it is for me to recognize the gifts in my life and be content. And the more time I spend thinking about my wants and my needs, the harder it is to think about others. You see we are always in the process of becoming something. When I choose to cut somone off in traffic, I take one step further toward becoming a selfish person. When I buy another piece of clothing that I don’t need, I take one step further toward becoming a vain person. And when I choose not to casually mention the A I just made on an exam to another student, I take one step further toward becoming a prideful person.

Everything we do, every moment of our day, and every choice that we make, is shaping us. It’s either shaping us into someone who models Christ, or someone who does not. That’s why I don’t like the idea that some areas of our lives are too insignificant for God, or that there are some things that God leaves up to us, so we don’t need to ask Him about it. I think that’s a risky, if not spiritually reckless, mentality. Every decision you make in which you choose to rely on yourself rather than God, no matter how small, is shaping you into the kind of person who does not need God. The next time you think, “I can make this decision on my own,” you are actively not choosing God. Remember that.

Every moment of our lives is shaping us, which is why it’s important to be intentional about each moment. Make decisions that will conform you to Christ, rather than the world. Choose paths that will cause you to depend on God, not yourself.

So what does all of this have to do with Easter? Well in the interest of forming habits that will conform us to Christ rather than the world, celebrating Easter is just such a habit. Easter is not merely an anniversary in which we come together and celebrate Christ like we might celebrate a birthday. While that element is indeed present during Holy Week, Easter is far more than that. The reason we celebrate Easter every single year, and the reason we observe Communion every single month, is that these practices actually *shape* us as Christians. Each time we choose to remember Christ at Easter or in Communion, we take one step further toward becoming people whose lives are defined by Christ’s Resurrection.

I think the Catholics really get this concept right in that they observe Communion every single day–they understand that remembering what Christ did for us on the cross is not something to merely celebrate at one’s convenience. Remembering Christ’s death and resurrection should overshadow all that we do in profound and transformative ways. So given that habits shape us so definitively, celebrating Easter and observing Communion must become ours habits. We must be remembering Christ’s death and resurrection CONSTANTLY. By practicing these habits of Easter and Communion, we are becoming the kind of people who actually live within the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection, not merely when we go to church, but when we go to class, tie our shoes, or even eat ice cream. Christ’s death and resurrection will begin to define every single thing that we do, and every breath that we take. Every time you take that bread and wine, you take one more step toward becoming a person who lives in the reality of what Christ did on the cross. That’s a habit we could all stand to have, and unlike our negative habits that shape us into worldly people, this habit will be shape us into true disciples of Christ.

So as we spend this weekend meditating on what Christ did for us, do more than merely thank God. Do more than merely remember. Pray that this event would shape you in a definitive way. Pray that it would come to define every aspect of your life. That you would not simply be a person who celebrates Easter once a year with the rest of the secular culture, but that it would determine every moment of every day. THAT is why we celebrate Easter, so I pray we can all become a kind of people who celebrate Easter as more than a holiday, but as a lifestyle.

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