Well, here we are on day #whoknows of social distancing and lockdown. Tomorrow is Easter and tomorrow no one will be able to go to church. Personally, I think that is great.
In case you haven’t been paying attention for the last month or so, church is still happening in the United States. It just looks very different. Pastors are still preaching, people are still listening and church leaders are still loving. The church is not a building made of brick and mortar. The church is a body made of Jesus-loving people. We still have plenty of those, so there is still plenty of church going on.
But that is not my point.
I have heard so many people say they are disappointed about not being able to go to church on Easter this year. No Easter dresses, no pageants or soul infusing choir numbers. And if you are like me, you even failed at getting a decent basket together for your children. Here in the South we are even bracing for a dangerous weather day that, no doubt, will put a damper on any shred of home celebrations we have planned.
Again, I think this is great!
Because even in the disappointment of celebrating Easter at home in our pajamas, even in the storms that come our way, Jesus is still alive. It’s never been about flashy services or elaborate baskets. It’s always been about the humility of Christ, His sacrifice and His power over death.
How did the simplicity of what Jesus did for us become such a spectacle? One reason. It was us.
We really can’t help it, I suppose. How is it possible to properly express our love for such a beautiful savior?
But that is not at all what He requires and I dare say they’ve become somewhat of an idol. And if we can’t get our idols out of the way of worshiping the One true God, He has a way of removing them for us. And He won’t stop short of a pandemic, plague, locusts or tornadoes to make it happen.
God is a jealous God. Hear this, ok? He is not at all jealous of you. He created you and sustains everything about you. He has nothing of which to be jealous. He is jealous for you. There is a huge difference in being jealous of someone and their blessings, grace and stature and being jealous for someone’s time and admiration. Exodus 20:5
Your dance mom status.
Your position at church or in your community.
The recipe you make every holiday that everyone raves about.
The graduation ceremony for your Senior honor student of whom you are so very proud.
Your church building. Your favorite song during worship.
The travel ball league that keeps you from coming to church.
Easter Sunday with all it’s fanfare.
None of these things are bad or wrong, but all of these things are idols if we put them in front of God. And all of these things have been stripped away for a time. I just can’t help but believe that God’s intention was for us to step back and lean on nothing but Him because if we are worshiping anything other than the God of Jacob we are idolaters.
He’s done us a favor. He’s made us slow down and lose sight of the things that we thought really mattered and focus more on the basics. If we don’t have our traditional Easter service, Jesus still conquered the grave. He’s still alive and always will be.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8