Easter. The Day We Can All Celebrate

There are 2.3 billion Christians in the
world. We are truly of all different shapes
and sizes. We worship in a vast variety of
ways. We dress differently in many cases.
We worship in different languages. We are
widely diverse in interpreting the scriptures
and how we come to God. But on Easter,
none of that matters because we’re all doing
the same thing. We’re coming together to
celebrate, and I mean really celebrate, what
makes us different from all the other
religions of the world: Christ’s resurrection
from the dead. No other faith claims such a
spiritual miracle. So no matter how
different we Christ-followers are, we are of
one heart and mind on Easter morning.
Our recent travel in Europe reminds me
of the bitter enmity that existed between
Christians. In London, we ate at a pub called
“Hung, Drawn & Quartered” where on the
walls were pictures of some of the martyrs
who were actually hung, drawn, and
quartered. Just above our seats were two
pictures of Protestant leaders who suffered
their fate at the hands of Catholic kings.
When we visited the Tower of London, we
saw the place where Catholic leader Thomas
More was executed by Henry VIII who was
eliminating those Catholics who would not
convert to his new church – the Church of
England. In Scotland, we visited the home
of the fiery Presbyterian leader, John Knox
whose fervent attacks on the Catholic Mary,
Queen of Scots helped arouse the people of
Scotland and eventually led to her
imprisonment and execution.
Yes, our history as Christians is not
what our God wishes for us. We are called
to be one – one in the spirit and one in the
Lord. Thank heavens Easter is the time we
can prove we’re making progress. We still
have our differences. Greek Orthodox
churches set off fireworks on Saturday,
Easter Eve. Many Protestant churches
celebrate the empty tomb with sunrise
services.
We’re making progress. I can go to my
wife’s church on Easter eve for the vigil and
be warmly welcomed. Well, maybe not as
warmly welcomed as she will be at Green
Tree on Easter Sunday morning, but warmly
welcomed anyway. The point is the old
hatreds are dying. We’re drawing closer to
the loving body of believers that Christ
wants us to be and Easter brings us together
with our incredibly joyful experience like
nothing else.
Pastor Rod

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