7 Ways to Celebrate Easter Like It’s 1999

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Blog | 9 comments

I’ve celebrated Easter for 53 years.  53 years of Easter baskets and Easter eggs, of Easter suits and Easter lilies, of Easter Jesus outside an empty Easter tomb.  Being a conscientious Easter celebrator, I’ve gathered what I think are seven of the best ways to celebrate Easter like a mad man.  Like a crazy fool.  Like it’s 1999

Here you go.  Feel free to repost and tweet away.  No credit necessary.

1.     Attend a really dark, depressing Good Friday service.  Counter intuitive, I know, but it works.   You need to get divinely bummed before you can be divinely surprised.  Find a church that leaves the depression in Good Friday.  No smiling.  No happy-clappy.  Jesus didn't clap on the cross.  There were those nails, remember?  Lots of wailing, black, and depravity – that’s what you want.  Coffins of depravity.  Rumination is good for the soul.  To get your head there, consider a world of only Good Fridays.  What if funerals were all she wrote, if cancer had the last laugh, if rape and abuse and divorce and desertion were your life’s defining stroke?  What if the story ended there?  How often have you lived like it did?   Wallow here until you smell like pig mud.  No one wants to live in pig mud but wallowing on the Friday before Easter makes Easter more fun.

2.     Hide Easter eggs in your neighbor’s yard.  Their front yard.  By their garage or wherever they come in and out the most.  That way they’ll find them.  Fill them with wrapped Easter candy so their three year-old doesn’t get an egg of ants.  That wouldn’t be good.  Put them in their mailbox.  Gift wrap a box full of them and place them on their front porch and ring the bell.  (Be sure and run.)  Hang Easter eggs from their trees.  Go crazy like these Germans.  Rather than expect your neighbor to go to Easter, take Easter to her.  Make her smile.  Make her feel like a kid again.  Bring that Easter ‘Aha!’

3.     Read all four crucifixion and resurrection accounts in one sitting.  Over-the-top crazy ambitious, I know.  Probably take you a whole hour and with your busy schedule…  Ok, that was sarcastic.  Sorry.  Most of us have heard of Good Friday and Easter but have never read word-for-word what the Bible says about them.  Matthew 26:47-28:15; Mark 14:32-16:8; Luke 22:47-24:48; John 18:1-20:22 provide eyewitness accounts to these events.  Think USA Today.  Read them.  Mark them up.  Take notes.  Let them soak in so that when you show up in church later this week, your worship is framed in truth.  Take your time with them so when your equally ignorant friend says, “The Bible doesn’t really say Jesus rose from the dead,” you can lovingly redirect him.  (If you don’t have the hour to read all four accounts at once, read one a day.)

4.     Serve Peeps instead of ham.   Ham?  Seriously? Can’t you do better than that?  Where’s the joy in ham?  Ham puts you to sleep.  Peeps pep you up.  Easter is about up.  Rise and shine.  You can get ham any Sunday.  But Peeps, they only happen once a year.  (Ok, Amazon has ruined that.)  Make this a festive meal.  Memorable.  Peeps with gravy, that’s memorable.  Ham with raisin sauce…I’m not sure what to say.  If you’re Peeps challenged, go here.  

5.     Thank those who taught you about “Jesus” Easter.  As opposed to “bunny” Easter.  A friend of mine tells of memories of her mom teaching her about Jesus while giving her a bath as a child.  Bath-time was Jesus time.  Who told you about Jesus and the reason for the crucifixion and the hope of the resurrection?  Who reframed elves and eggs so that they were a part of the celebration but not the center?  How old were you when you realized Jesus died for your sin and rose so you’ll rise?  Who was the Who who taught you?  Dial the number, click “send” on the email, buy a stamp and send a card.  And if the “who” is no longer here – like Leona Elenora Renatta Richter Fischer (now that’s a name), the grandma who taught me – then thank the Creator who keeps her in paradise.  Easter means you’ll go there, too.

6.     Set off those fireworks you saved from New Year’s Eve.  What, you didn’t save any?  What were you thinking???  Imagine this: Easter Sunday, sunrise, 6 am, and “boom.”  Stone rolled away sound effects.  The neighbors might not be totally thrilled but when was the last time someone shot off fireworks on Easter?  Never!  This has your name written all over it.  If fireworks aren’t an option, try party poppers, party horns, and party hats.  Key word: Party!  (If fireworks are illegal in your neighborhood…then find another neighborhood.)

7.     Party with a group of other Jesus crazies.  Partying alone is a drag.  Find a local Christian Church (no such thing as an un-Christian Church but sometimes I feel like not everyone knows that)…find a local Christian Church and join them on Easter Sunday.  Try to sing all of the songs, even if you don’t know them.  Listen to the Bible readings.  Count how many smiles you see on the faces.  Hopefully you’ll count over 100.  Consider that your true, real, life-defining moment wasn’t the crisis or the failure that pinned Jesus to the cross in your place, but rather the empty tomb and Risen Savior promising “Empty tombs for everyone!”  Easter defines you.  Your flawed body is on borrowed time, but one day it will be on Easter time, restored, renewed, and never to die again.  That’s why you can celebrate like there’s no tomorrow.  Because when Easter defines you, there always is.

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Spread the Joy

Posted by on Dec 25, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Christmas is about how God’s Son, a baby, was born, for you, given to you and belongs to you.  And to know him and love him, to be His and he yours, means that now your life depends only on him.  A baby has your life in his hands. Which is pretty serious.

While Christmas is about laughter and celebration, it’s meant to be taken seriously.  If you believe in Christmas, that baby born into the world is also born into your family.  You’re now striving to turn from your old way of depending on yourself, believing in yourself, living for yourself, celebrating yourself.  Stop that. Instead celebrate Him, depend on Him, live for Him. Allow the forgiveness and grace He gives you at Christmas to ripple through every day, every month, every year into every life. Allow the joy the angels sang of to be a joy that you sing of. Because of the baby, God doesn’t hold your stuff against you.  Don’t hold your brother’s, your mother’s, your son’s stuff against him.  Let it go. Friends, there is too much good in life to let your life be defined by the hurt. 

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

See, Christmas is a giant reset on the world.  It should be a day of pushing reset on your family. My prayer for you this Christmas is that the joy that comes from knowing your sins are forgiven and your future secure would ripple through your life and create great joy in those around you.

Merry Christmas.

 

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