Why bother with Easter?
It’s a loaded title for a blog post, right? Certainly. It does, however, communicate some of the intellectual dissonance I’m experiencing around our contemporary evangelical/presbyterian way of celebrating easter. I’ll cut to the chase–it seems arbitrary to me that we have chosen to not celebrate the Easter (paschal) triduum as it has traditionally been celebrated by the church and have instead elected to allow Maundy Thursday to replace it. We got to church and enter into the drama of the last supper and ensuing betrayal (on Maundy Thursday) and then return to Celebrate our Lord’s resurrection. How evangelical in the most impoverished sense of the word.
I don’t presume to speak for anyone else when I write this, but I long–deeply long–to order my life around the story of God’s redemptive purpose in the life of Christ and of his church. Why? Not because I think it’s sophisticated. Not because I’m reacting against my low church heritage. Not because I think it’s cool.
I have one reason alone: by myself, and in myself, I am not strong enough to ensure that the kingdom vision of the gospel remains the most formative truth in my life.
I’m dead serious about this–I can’t do it. I need help and that help must come not simply from friends but from Christian sisters and brothers, and it must come from them in the context of a worshipping community who have chosen to intentionally order their (our) lives around the story of God.
Are we evangelicals really serious about our discipleship, about our formation? Is our view of the church sufficient to produce apprentices who will remain faithful to Christ in a post-Christendom society?
It’s fairly safe to say that so long as our communal worship has about it the feeling and value of a thing added to our lives rather than the reality out of which our life flows then the answer will be no.