Every Sunday is Easter
Every Sunday can (and should) have Easter expectancy. Every Sunday is about the person and work of Jesus. If there is a significant gap between Easter Sunday and all the rest of the Sundays, then we’re doing something very wrong.
We would often go to my grandparent’s for Easter. It was a special occasion. There were Easter eggs, Easter baskets, and a run through the front yard on Easter morning for little candy-filled plastic eggs. My grandmother made rosemary-encrusted roasted lamb for lunch after church. We all dressed up and caravanned the two miles to the local Episcopal church in that small Virginia town. The church had an Easter tradition that involved placing a cross in the front of the sanctuary, a cross made of rough, aged wooden boards, about four feet tall, loosely wrapped with chicken wire. It stayed that way throughout the Sunday service. At the end of the service, the children would come forward bringing the cut flowers—mostly daffodils of yellow and white—that they brought from home, cut from flower beds in their yards.1 They’d affix them to the cross through the slots in the chicken wire. When the bustle of children up front died down, the cross looked like it had sprouted dozens and dozens of spring flowers. I was young and unconverted, but it was something that I looked forward to every year.2
It would be years until I was born again and understood the significance of that image—of a rough cross, new life, and resurrection. It would be a few more years until I was ordained, and a few more years after that until I was pastoring the church I had planted, understanding the weight that a pastor bears getting ready for that most important of Sundays—Easter Sunday. Did I choose the right hymns and psalms (in the right versions)? Was my sermon clear enough to grip the seasoned saints in my congregation that had heard more Easter sermons in their life than I would likely ever preach? Was my sermon pointed enough to call the non-Christians, who would likely be in attendance, to repentance and faith? Was our nursery staffed enough for the influx of visitors? The expectancy was thick, almost like God offered the opportunity to work mightily on this one day, unlike what he was up to the other fifty-one.
Easter Sunday has always been a big deal, from my earliest unconverted memories to my recent pastor labors. I cherish those memories and my current family traditions.3 But I now know that all that expectancy was misplaced.