It's Okay to Enjoy! (Devotion from the Pastor)
When religious holidays like Christmas and Easter roll around, you always hear people say that consumerism and traditions of the holiday season takes away from the real reason (Jesus) for our celebration. At Christmas time it is all about gifts, trees, music, lights, and Santa. At Easter it is all about chocolate, painting eggs, baskets, and bunnies. The voices say that all the cheer and buying have just reduced the Christian holidays into nothing but self-centered nonsense.
I hear that stuff so much, that I begin to feel guilty about feeling joyous during the holidays. However, upon reflection (maybe I am losing my mind in writing this), maybe a little selfish joy is just the way Jesus wants us to experience the holidays. Maybe Jesus wants the holidays to be all about us, because, that is why Jesus was here in the first place. You see, Jesus lived in our challenging, abusive, hurt-filled world for us. He died a brutal death, at the hands of hateful people for us. He defeated death and lives on, for us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I am not saying that we go into the Easter season and completely turn away from remembering the work that Jesus accomplished on the cross. I am not saying that we don’t enter into Lent without doing the hard work of reflection, meditating, and sacrificing in obedience and honor to all that Jesus gave to us during His life, and I am not saying that over-indulgence into anything is good. But I am saying, it is ok to feel good about seeing the joy on a toddlers face when they find the last egg, it is ok to dress up in a new Easter outfit, and it is ok to feel good about the wonderful loving fellowship with family and friends during an elaborate Easter dinner. Because remember that God did something wonderful in Jesus Christ, so that we could experience true happiness in this life, free from the hopelessness of sin and eternal death...In some ways, Easter is about us, and I think Jesus would say the same.
Have a happy and joyous Easter season…I think that is the way Jesus wants it. Glory be to the Lord our God. Amen.