Today is Easter, the holiest day in the Christian faith, a day celebrated by billions around the world as the day that God gave himself for the sins of the world. As a Christian, born and raised in the faith, Easter has always been a big part of my life. I remember grudgingly waking up super early as a kid, when it was still dark and cool outside, and dressing in my best Sunday clothes that Mom had ironed and pressed the night before. We would pile into Granddaddy and Nanny’s silver Pontiac Parisienne, a steel land yacht that seemed to stretch for a mile and a half, and make our way down the little one lane dirt road to “the highway” and then on to the small brick church where the Presbyterians in our small farming community gathered. We’d stand outside in the cold, shivering, as our preacher, Dr. Dawes Graybeal, read passages from the Bible about the women who went to Jesus’ tomb and found it empty. Now, as an adult, I see that same wonder and amazement on my kids’ faces when they hear those same verses.
Easter has always been a holiday that centers around hope, rebirth, and the comfort that is found through perseverance through suffering. And today, perhaps more than any time in the last two thousand years, the world NEEDS that message. But in the past few days and weeks I’ve seen more people talking about where we are worshipping rather than what we are worshipping, and that is a problem.