I witnessed something destabilizing tonight as I walked back to the house. The word Easter seems to have very many different and completely irrelevant definitions in this world. There was a man and a woman; I am not sure of where to categorize them, husband and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend or whatever, I don't know. These two were drunk, completely drunk and they walked pulling each other with a lot of difficulties and of course you know that they fell down severally and in the process I walked past them. But just as I walked past them, I heard the man mumble something to the effect that, they were making full use of the Easter holiday. I was so shocked. Or maybe I am the only naive one left.
But what really is Easter? Is it that we don't know what we are supposed to do during Easter or we just choose to play a bit? Or have we had enough Easters and it's time we scraped that date off our calenders? Honestly, I don't know what to say. On Saturday (7th Apr) I came across an article in the Saturday Nation and in part, it read;
Unlike Christmas when all of us troop to our family homes to bond with our siblings, we are allowed to hang out with non-family members during Easter. That is why the Easter weekend is perfect for lovers and couples, whether in real or imaginary relationships.
Easter despite its sober origins, offers four uninterrupted days and nights for guys and girls to have a long, dirty weekend....
Up to this very second I don't know what really annoyed me the most in that piece. But the piece left me worked up; I wondered why I had to read it in the fast place. Well perhaps the nature of that publication or column permitted the author to write that but if you asked me, Easter remains Easter. I have never been told that Easter varies depending on what you are talking about, where you are or who you are talking to.
Anyway, that was just to jolt us to where we might be or what our understanding of Easter might be. You have already seen that... it's a long weekend to do all the 'dirty stuff', its a weekend to enjoy ourselves in no better way than when high on alcohol and so many other definitions. But I am afraid, these ideas will waste our time and maybe even wreck it.
In case you are intending to tell me something about not everyone believing in what took place on the cross, then drop the word Easter in your sentence. If you call yourself a Christian then I would want to remind you that there is no Christianity without the cross. Salvation for the entire mankind was founded on the cross and so the cross is a vital element in Christianity. What other excuse could be in our heads...? Oh yeah, we are a Christians but we are not very strict with some things and that is why Easter for us is a weekend to get out of town and do all the 'dirty' stuff. One of my professors told me that, the moment you use 'but' in a sentence, you have cancelled everything you have said before. So if you are a Christian... but..., then perhaps you need to rethink. And besides, I strongly believe that in Christianity there are no half measures; you are either in or out.
So what really is Easter? The knowledge I have of Easter from the bible shows that, Easter is a time when we are supposed to reflect on what was done on the cross, it's relevance to us today and what we are doing to maintain the covenant we have with Christ our Lord.
Jesus was crucified on a Friday according to the bible and so much happened before and after HIS crucifixion(read the four gospels if you haven't.) The reasons surrounding his death were numerous but the one we are used to reading about is that one that says "He claimed to be the king of the Jews". There are so many other reasons and to understand all of them, then one has to completely understand the mission of Christ in the three years during which He walked on earth. It might still be hard to understand even after reading so get the assistance of a good servant of GOD; one who knows his bible. The death of Christ was a covenant which, anyone who ever understands it well will never joke with it.
But who would even want to joke with the death and resurrection of Christ when they don't joke with their own jobs? I think the 'idea' of modern Christianity has something to do with the offhand way in which the teachings of Christ are being handled. Let it be understood that there is nothing called modern worship or ancient worship or civilized worship or precolonial worship or post colonial worship... there is only one way we worship God and that you know as well as I do. It is the bible way.
We want so much in this life. We want good education, we want promotions at our places of work, we want stable marriages, we want all our dreams to come true, we want good health, we want protection when we are afraid, we want guidance in every step we make, we want assurance... we want so many things. But we forget to make our connection with the one who matters strong. The one who decides when we breath or not, the one who says I have good plans for your life, the one who says I will expand your boundaries and cause you to overflow, the one who says by my stripes you are healed, the one who says I will send my angels to watch over you while you sleep, the one who created marriages, the one who says I will give you the treasures of dark, secret places... the one who says so many things.
Instead, we convert even the few days we have to bond with Him into something else. On Easter, we are on a get a way weekend with the wildlife and other tourists. On most Sundays, we find ourselves engaged. If it is not catching up with a friend we haven't seen for 'decades', we have gone to the saloon because we will not get time during the week. And when we are able to go to church, it is sometimes without the bible and we prefer the back seat... What's happening to Christianity? The very core that is supposed to bind everything is in danger of being compromised! Are we too big for God now? What has GOD done to warrant our walking away from HIM? Do we really believe that we can live without GOD and He should stop interfering?
An acquaintance told me that, there was no freedom in Christianity. Maybe I am just a pessimist but I think there is no freedom in the world and in deed, there is a lot of freedom in Christianity. The kind of freedom we need and the kind that will help us. So I asked this optimistic young woman what her idea of freedom was and as I expected, she gave me a list of many useless things. She said in Christianity, you can not take alcohol and dance a whole night, you cannot be 'a little immoral', you cannot lie to get away with mischief... I was very impressed with her list. This girl knew most disciplines of Christianity.
"So do you call being allowed to be a 'little immoral' freedom?" I asked.
Of course her answer was yes and since I had other businesses to attend to, our conversation ended prematurely. But I went back to the topic hours later.
"Does the world really offer freedom?" I asked myself. The answer was no.
There are so many terrorist groups in this country. Can you imagine drinking and dancing a whole night away and then a bomb lands on that particular entertainment spot? I am not saying it will land, I am simply asking a question. Well, you may have the freedom to dance a whole night away, but it takes a simple act of bad fate to take you somewhere you were not in a hurry to go.
So why would we want to abandon all these; I mean the pleasures of the kingdom of GOD, the GOD who keeps His covenant of love with those that love Him to the fourth generation, the GOD who doesn't forget us, the one who says I will bless you, the one who says you will never lack, the one who doesn't accompany His blessing with a curse, the one who says you shall live long, the one who says He will order your steps, the one who says your end shall be greatly increased, the one who says... so many other things to pursue some uncertain and most probably nonexistent freedom? It is Easter, please understand the weight. It is not simply a break from work or school to make use of the false promise of freedom the world has offered us.
Easter should be taken seriously because the love of GOD can never be underestimated. And also, we should go back to the roots and find out what the bible says about Easter if it is true we don't know.
I would like to take this opportunity to usher you into boundless celebrations. It is three hours and a few minutes into Easter Monday. May the peace of GOD that passeth all understanding be with you until the end of time.
Brethren, I wish above all things, that you may prosper and be in health.
Have an extra special EASTER MONDAY. We thank GOD.