Celebrating Easter Throughout the Year
April 5 2010 by D.E. Parkerson

The first Easter Sunday in history was over. The disciples of Jesus had seen their Lord illegally tried, unjustly convicted, crucified on a Roman cross, and buried on Friday before sundown. It had been a very emotional experience for them.

That first Easter Sunday was for these dispirited men a tremendous climax to all the tragic events that had befallen them in the days immediately prior. Jesus had appeared to Mary Magdalene. He had also appeared to all of His disciples except for Judas, who had hanged himself. They had no idea had what would happen next.

Now the excitement had subsided and there was nothing better to do. Simon Peter turned to the his friends with whom he had been closely associated for the better part of three years, and said bluntly, “Fellows, I’m going fishing.”

“We will go with you,” responded his friends, and off they went to the Sea of Galilee. Boats, nets, and men headed back to business as usual — a business they had at one time assumed they had left behind forever.

Their return to business as usual is a glaring portrayal of so many of our post-Easter activities. Like those early disciples, we have in recent days experienced something of the joy and excitement of Easter. We have joined fellow believers in worship. Our celebration has included both proclamation and praise.

Easter has always been, and will always be, a special day for Christians. If Jesus had not risen from the grave, the crucifixion would have no meaning or power. The central core of Christian doctrine is the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The cross and the empty tomb are united together in God’s great redemptive act. Joined together they provide the hope of eternal life to all who believe.

The Bible teaches and Christians believe that Jesus arose from the dead. But on Easter Monday, as it was for Peter and the other disciples, we also go back to business as usual — the same routine, the same problems, anxieties, defeats, bondages as the week before. Easter has made an impact on our lives, but it often fails to empower us with the kind of divine energy that brought Jesus from the grave.

The disciples “caught nothing” in their post-Easter fishing expedition — that is, until they cast their nets in response to the order of a stranger on the beach. After they caught many fish they suddenly realized that the stranger on the beach was Jesus.

The 2010 A.D. version of Easter Sunday is now behind us. If what we have experienced through worship is genuine, we must not settle for returning to business as usual. We must celebrate Easter in our lives every day of every year.

We will not influence our world very much with words alone. The living Christ must be recognized in everything that we are and do. It is the only way we can be effective channels and communicators of God’s love and healing to lonely, unhappy, defeated people in the Monday-through-Saturday world around us.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Parkerson is a native of Georgia, a graduate of Mercer University [B.A.], Southeastern Seminary [M. Div. and Th.M.], and Campbell University [D.D.]. He has served as pastor of one church in Georgia and five churches in North Carolina. Following retirement as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sanford on Sept. 30, 1996, he has served nine North Carolina churches as interim pastor. His column, The Paper Pulpit, has appeared weekly in a few newspapers and other publications since 1958. He and his wife, Jessie, live in Wilmington near their daughter and family.)
4/5/2010 7:27:00 AM by D.E. Parkerson | with 0 comments

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