Celebrating Christian holidays can sometimes feel like a challenge.
There is no doubt that Christmas is the most difficult season to navigate. Baby Jesus and Santa are at odds. There’s Advent, Elf on the Shelf, wish lists versus charitable giving and on and on. How are we supposed to observe a sacred event while at the same time staying culturally relevant?
Easter is quickly becoming equally confusing.
Do we talk about the Easter Bunny? If we decorate eggs, are we minimizing the Easter story? If I don’t invite people to church then we are “bad Christians,” but if we invite our friends and they are shocked to hear we attend church in the first place, then we are really in trouble.
In modern culture, there is much excitement over bunnies, eggs and all things pastel, but very little about why the day is even on the calendar in the first place. How do we celebrate the greatest day in history without fear of appearing fanatical? As Christians, how do we do Easter right?
To start, here a few things we should not do:
Try to Add Jesus Into All the Modern Cultural Traditions
There’s no Easter Bunny; we all know it. But it’s a fun tradition for young kids, and there’s no harm in having kids collect plastic eggs. We don’t need to create a story about how the Easter Bunny is like Jesus. It’s OK to have traditions that are for pure entertainment. Enjoy all the chocolate, marshmallow and dye you want without worrying about having to fabricate some Christian meaning for every aspect of today’s holiday traditions.
Invite Complete Strangers to Attend Your Church Service
If you plan to put a pamphlet on someone’s front door, windshield or in their mailbox, chances are they aren’t already your friend. Friends get invited over for dinner; they put their feet up and watch the game. You know them and where they are in their own faith journey. Jesus called people “friends” and went into their homes. He usually broke bread with them before asking them to follow Him. He met there where they were. We should do the same. They need to know we can be trusted and that they aren’t a means to achieve a checkbox on the “brought a friend to church on Easter” card.
Use Your Faith to Gain Social Media Followers
If you consistently use your social media to share your faith with your followers, that’s great. If not, that’s OK too. But Easter is not a day to grow your platform with the faith-based group if that isn’t your typical audience. Don’t use the hashtag of the day to increase your followers; that’s just tacky.
Invite People to a Service and Never Follow Up
If you invite someone to your church service, they are your guest. Sit with them—better yet, meet them in the parking lot. Walk them inside. Introduce them to other friends. And when service is over and Easter Sunday is in the rearview, make it a point to connect with them. Ask what they thought and just listen. Don’t badger them with questions. Consider the lens they took everything in through. Be present in their lives as a friend without any strings attached to their faith.
In contrast, the “to do” list is actually quite short:
We need to reflect on the amazing gift we were given. What Jesus did for us is the reason we sing and celebrate and gather together over Easter weekend. Our hope is in Him.
As Christians, we don’t need to “defend” Easter from the secular bunny and our consumer-driven culture. We don’t have to buy into those things, but we don’t have to loudly decry them either. Jesus, while He was on trial, was silent; He did not build a case for Himself. And neither should we.
We celebrate a Resurrected Savior, and that can never be taken away. We need only to remember the love Jesus poured out for us and then share with others what this good news means— to us and for them.