Along about the middle of July, I start thinking about my family. My father died the 16th of July and his father died on the 20th. In the middle of December my mind reflects on another loss. It seems that annual remembrances are important to me. Nostalgic? Sentimental? I am not sure, but powerful events in my life resonate deep within me. Each year, about that time in the month, I reflect, rehearse what I learned, the things I value, and commit to honor the memories in the coming year.
An early Easter holiday this year. For many throughout our world this is a season that remembers a time altering event. A risen Christ, a Messiah hoped for, then seemingly lost, before an earth shaking return, the story of Jesus contains every imaginable emotion. For many it will be read with tears and inexpressible joy. They “get it”.
For others it is a holiday about baskets, colored eggs, new dresses, bonnets, and white shoes. There may be family meals, dying eggs, toddlers waddling through a back yard attempting to fill an ungainly basket, baby rabbits or chicks, and other types of seasonal activities. When done with an awareness of the reason that a celebration exists today, they are fine. But for many it is only the seasonal holiday trappings. They may not believe in the resurrection, or even believe in the Christ.
Having knowledge of a time, or a celebration without noting the significance is empty and hollow. For me it makes no sense, like purchasing birthday cards because you like the picture, without sending them on to share with a loved one.
Paul cautions the early church about their failure to deem as holy the portion of their meal in which they observed the Lord’s Supper. For some, it appears they were just eating and drinking, enjoying social time without connecting it to the sacrifice of Jesus. Some were being left out, others were just filling their faces, but reflection on the Christ was not happening.
The problem – they didn’t create holiness in themselves around the event they were remembering. Today, remember to do more than celebrate, also reflect.