We all know that Easter is a celebration of the resurrection. Will you celebrate? I mean, really celebrate?

Full confession—I am not great at celebrating.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to have fun and I’m always down to celebrate birthdays and holidays. It’s just, without these built in rhythms, celebration does not come naturally to me.  

Easter is the greatest day in history. 

There is probably no greater cause for celebration!

During my ten years of working for a church, I developed an even greater appreciation for that fact. I also gained an understanding for the pressure, extra hours and grind of preparing for an Easter celebration.

Grind. That might be a strong word to use, but something tells me it sometimes resonates with church leaders during this season. 

It’s hard to celebrate in the midst of a grind. You would not be alone in admitting that. 

In N.T. Wright’s book Surprised By Hope, he addresses the importance of celebrating Easter.

He says, “But my biggest problem starts on Easter Monday. I regard it as absurd and unjustifiable that we should spend forty days keeping Lent, pondering what it means, preaching about self-denial, being at least a little gloomy, and then bringing it all to a peak with Holy Week, which in turn climaxes in Maundy Thursday, Good Friday . . . and then, after a rather odd Holy Saturday, we have a single day of celebration.” 

He has a point. Easter was the greatest single day in history, but that doesn’t mean our celebration of the resurrection should be limited! 

Wright goes on to further challenge my typical way of thinking concerning celebration.

“Easter week itself ought not to be the time when all the clergy sigh with relief and go on holiday. It ought to be an eight-day festival… Is it any wonder people find it hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus if we don’t throw our hats in the air? Is it any wonder we find it hard to live the resurrection if we don’t do it exuberantly in our liturgies? Is it any wonder the world doesn’t take much notice if Easter is celebrated as simply the one-day happy ending tacked on to forty days of fasting and gloom? It’s long overdue that we took a hard look at how we keep Easter in church, at home, in our personal lives, right through the system. And if that means rethinking some cherished habits, well, maybe it’s time to wake up.”

I doubt there is time to plan an eight day festival at your church this year. But, if you’re like me at all, you get the point. We need to celebrate! Not by way of habit or duty, but because there is no other logical response to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Many of us are in the practice of giving things up for Lent. That is a good and appropriate response to Calvary. It’s putting to death things in our lives that need killing. But Easter is a time for planting new things in our lives.

I have a challenge for you (and me). As we approach Easter this year, consider what new thing you will start. And commit to starting that as part of your on-going Easter celebration this year. 

Maybe you are long overdue to reconnect with an old friend. Maybe this is the year that you’ll actually plant a garden. Maybe there’s a hike near your house that you can start doing once a week.

Whatever it is for you, give yourself permission to start and live in the fullness of life that has been afforded to you through Jesus.

He is worth celebrating ... so let’s celebrate!

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