Times sure have changed. My boys won't grow up doing traditional Easter church, if we stay at the current church we are involved in now. We will most likely go to Easter services....tonight. Yep. We want to save Sunday's seats for all the visitors that we hope to have. We start Easter weekend services tonight and they run through Sunday.
If you grew up in church at all I am sure you remember the traditional Easter service with all the Easter outfits, new shoes and coiffed hair. The church we are in now, I could show up in blue jeans and a t-shirt on Easter morning and no one would blink an eye. If you are in full Easter clothes no one is going to blink an eye either. There will be a little of everything. Everyone is welcome, the church is friendly and they have great coffee! AND they let you drink that coffee in the auditorium. My dad, bless his heart, still can't get used to that.
Even though I grew up in a very traditional church, I am thankful that I now know that walking in relationship with God has nothing to do with my outward appearance. There is nothing wrong with dressing up to go to church, just like there is nothing wrong with wearing jeans. You can sing hymns or you can have a rockin worship band singing worship songs. Some churches even play some secular music in their services to get a point across. You can be in many different denominations or no denomination at all. God doesn't care, as long as you come to him.
I guess what I am saying is that sometimes we put so much emphasis on what is on the outside that people looking in think that maybe they wouldn't fit in there.
You know what? All God asks is that you come to him, acknowledge that you don't have it all together and you don't want to carry the burden of your sins anymore. You would rather he take them and make you whole. As Jesus said, "All who come to me who are heavy burdened will find REST".
Jesus has everything you need to make you whole. You won't find it in the church, although that is where I find support, encouragement, friends, etc. It's a good place to get plugged in, but it's not what makes you whole.
You won't find it in wearing the "right" clothes, whatever those are. You won't find it in observing lent. Memorizing the bible, following the 10 commandments. Believing in God. You won't find it in any certain political party. Basically, you find it in a personal relationship with Christ.
Sometimes, we make it very complicated. But it is really very, very simple. The reason that Easter means so much to me has obviously very little to do with the church traditions of Easter. Easter means so much to me because of Jesus. God's son who was sent to be my sacrifice. And because he did that, I get to live. I get to have a personal relationship with him. And he loves me with an everlasting love. A love that I simply cannot fathom.
That's really all he wants you to get. If you are on the outside looking in, just know it is easy. Just ask. Admit. Confess. Commit your life. Accept his love. He gives it freely.
Really. It's free. And all you have to do is ask.
If you want to know more about getting to know Jesus, look HERE.
If you live in the middle Tennessee area and want to check out a nontraditional Easter service, look HERE.