Last night my wife was perusing a Wal-Mart advertorial. If that’s not the proper term, then suffice it to say she had the Wal-Mart advertisement newspaper in hand! For reasons that shall surely escape me well into the millenial reign of Christ, I asked that she hand it over. That was a mistake.
What I saw there both disgusted and saddened me. The advertorial was promoting their annual Easter Sale. There were colored eggs galore; little girls chasing bunny rabbits through manicured lawns; chocolate bunnies of every shape and size; brightly colored dresses tailored just right for every girl; young boys in handsome struts; and baskets chocked full of useless sugary stuff.
Before you log-out thinking, “Oh great, another Christian blogger bemoaning the commercialization of Easter” let me perhaps put just a little different spin on my charades.
First, I am not against Christian parents buying some chocolate for their children at Easter, so long as they avoid the gaudy extravagance that typically comes with the Easter Basket territory.
Second, I do not expect the unregenerate culture to reflect the glory of the Risen King, or even have much appreciation for Resurrection Sunday. Lest we forget, the overwhelming majority of Americans will sleep in this Sunday. Some will be hung-over from a late night Easter frolic. Perhaps some will drop by one of Jacksonville’s local porn distributors with more than chocolate on the brain, and a deep sickness in their hearts. I did, after all, notice the sign outside our local Adam & Eve store said they were giving out free Easter “gifts” with a purchase of $50 or more.
I do, however, expect Christian parents and families in this country to manifest more spiritual discernment than many do. Allow me to illustrate. When my wife and I share with other Christian couples that we stopped buying “Easter outfits” for our daughters several years ago, they stare at us in disbelief. It is as if we had told them we frequently break our daughters’ arms as a disciplinary measure. Yet, we do not feel as though we are doing anything all that radical. We certainly would not file it under “suffering for Jesus.”
You see, Michele and I stopped purchasing those bright, brand-spanking new outfits for our girls because as we read the Scriptures, the Spirit impressed upon us that nothing is more serious in God’s economy than worship. God desires His own glory above all. God determined from eternity past for His Dear Son to have preeminence by His death on behalf of sinners and His resurrection from the dead (Col 1:18).
“Worship” comes from an Old English word, “Worthship.” It refers to giving glory, honor and prestige to One who is worthy. Worship is not about us! Contrary to everything our culture is teaching us and our children, this life is not about us, our way, our will, our want. We are created for God’s glory, along with everything else (Rev 4:11). Worship is about the One True Holy God who has made a way for unholy sinners to be made right with Him through the bloody cross of His Son. This same Son, Jesus, who died, also rose again, literally and physically, thereby crushing the final enemy of sinful humanity (1 Cor 15).
Does it not strike anyone as odd that on what we Christians consider the most Holy Day on our Calendar, the Day that literally defines us as a people of God and sets us apart from every other religion known to man, that we put our little ones into the best, brightest, fanciest clothes we can find, proudly parade them before all the church folk, take albums full of pictures and youtube videos, let them hunt for eggs bearing earthly treasures, and then try to convince them that Easter is really about Jesus?
I think we are shooting ourselves in both feet, Christian parents and grandparents. How serious are we about ensuring our children understand that worship is absolutely never about us? Especially not on Easter.