Things I used to do at the Easter season, and have repented (sort of)..
1. I used to say at lent, that the thing I gave up was this prideful practice of giving up things to be noticed by others. (“Oh, he is so holy and devout, he gave up ___ for lent”). I felt that grace was sufficient and any little thing that I did could not add in any way to Jesus work on Calvary. This is true, but rubbing the noses of the “rule-keepers” into this was not appropriate. As Paul would say, it does not edify or build up the body of Christ. Now, I try to give of myself more than ever before, but I don’t broaast it and I’m sorry I mentioned it here. But I wanted to say I have changed. My former attitude was just as prideful as the attitude of the Lent extremists.
2. I used to make a big deal of Easter Baskets, coloring eggs for the kids, the whole nine yards. I have known for some time that the church in ancient times combined Resurrection Sunday with a pagan holiday, but I didn’t think much about it. Now, I want to jealously guard the Holy Resurrection aspect and minimize the pagan influence. This is not to say that God will send you to Hell for eating Easter candy, but let’s be distinctly Christian in our perspective of this Holy Holiday.
3. I used to go to a grand buffet for Easter Sunday Dinner. It was the feast of feasts. I over-indulged every single time and gave no thought to the deadly sin of gluttony. Reform has come slowly, but I no longer use Resurrection Sunday to hasten my early demise by over-indulging to ridiculous proportions. The day should not be about that. I can rejoice in Christ’s triumph over death in other ways besides gluttony. I am doing better on this one.
4. Remember those “Sunrise Services?”. Some churches still have them. I was an early riser for most of my adult life, so it didn’t bother me that much. But most of my nuclear family was not…and if they did not get their sleep, they were grumpy. This is not the attitude you should take to church on any Sunday. By the time the regular morning service started, the kids were in their Easter Sunday best clothes sleeping under the pews. This did not serve any practical purpose, so later in life we skipped the sunrise service and stuck to our usual routine and it worked much better for us. After all, it had to be sonrise somewhere in the world when our service started!
5. This one is especially egregious, because my taste changed, but I think it’s because I was by no means moderate. I am talking about “peeps” as I remember them. Yellow or pink, I would savor every tasty bite of marshmallow-sugar flavor. sometimes I would let them melt in my mouth, but usually they did not last long enough to melt. There could never be enough peeps. Then, at some point, I really think they changed the recipe. I cannot put one of these new counterfeits in my mouth. The cloyingly sweet mix in my mouth makes me sick to my stomach and the flavor tastes so artificial. I don’t think it would ever melt in my mouth. I think I could stuff it in a cheek, save it a year and pull it out pristine for the next Easter. Paul preaches moderation, but I preach to you a new commandment…abstinence! Death to the peeps. We hardly knew ye!
In all seriousness, let us all look at our holiday practices with an eye to please God, serve others, and observe the tenets of our faith as nobly as those who fought to pass them on to us.
Peace be unto you!