Sunday, April 12, 2009

Skipping Easter


For 24 years, I've been going to church on Easter Sunday. Christians call it 'Resurrection Sunday.' It's probably the most important day of the year for Christians, because we remember how Christ beat death once and for all by coming back to life three days after his brutal crucifixion. It's a cornerstone event in the history of the church, one that happened 2000 years ago on the 2nd Sunday in April... approximately.

But I slept until 11:30 today. I didn't go to church. It's Easter and I'm sitting in my underwear on the living room couch watching Poltergeist. Have I lost my faith? Don't I care about Christ's glorious resurrection anymore?

I went out into storage to find our antennae, because the Celtics are playing the Cavs this afternoon. I haven't watched TV in weeks, but Easter Sunday seems like the perfect day to zone out. The Bulls have a shot at the 6th spot in the playoffs, and I haven't cared about basketball since 8th grade. I don't know what the outcome of these games will be, but I've heard the story of the empty tomb about a million times. Hearing it again isn't going to make me a holier person.

And this is my main beef this Easter, a lot of people started sounding a little more pious this past week. They quote more Bible verses and publicly thank God for their blessings. They're inspired by the power of the gospel. But outside of the first week of April, they'll sound just like anybody else, complaining about their jobs and talking shit behind people's backs.

There are two problems here. One, is the people. There's nothing wrong with feeling inspired, this is actually a good thing, but inspiration shouldn't be a yearly engagement. Inspiration should constantly move people to live better lives. The individual shouldn't stop here at Easter, but should live every day humbly, especially those days following Resurrection Sunday. Because what it comes down to is this: Easter is just a day like any other. The sun comes up, and the sun goes down. If a child goes hungry on Easter, it doesn't make the pangs any softer if the child knows about Jesus.

The other problem is the church calendar. What is the church doing for the rest of the year that they're not inspiring people to quote Bible verses in facebook updates and twitter feeds? You won't see anybody "gettin' holy" on Independence Day. No, it takes passion week to get these "Christians" talking holy. And should the church even have this emotional effect during the Easter season? How about instead of getting them amped up, actually sobering people up? Sure, on Good Friday dim the lights and act somber about the crucifixion, only to smile and wear pastel two days later. It's an emotional ploy, every year.

I refuse to feel guilty. I am not going to church today, and that doesn't take anything away from what Christ did 2000 years ago. I will reflect on him by writing this cynical blog post. I will not let Christendom sway me.

So no, I haven't lost my faith. If anything, I take my faith more seriously than ever these days. Maybe skipping church today is a protest against the hypocrisy of Easter. This truly is an important day, but a day that should transcend the rest of the year and inspire Christians to love each other and their neighbors.

My 24-year streak is over. I'm less holy today, but I'm not going to front on the holiest day of the year.

1 comment:

The Great I'm Not said...

I've always asked the question if you truly believe in heaven & hell and that as a Christian the only thing that matters is living for Christ and witnessing to lost souls. THEN WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU EVEN CONSIDER GETTING A 9 TO 5 JOB.