My wife and I just got some pictures of our granddaughter printed and we decided to send a few pictures to our parents to keep them updated with the growth of our beautiful little girl. So we went to the story to pick up an Easter card for us to send with the pictures. It was the strangest thing though; not one card seemed to have anything to do with Easter.
I know that we were not shopping in the card aisle of the Christian bookstore or anything, but still; how could we be so far removed from any tie with the actual events or story that prompts the celebration. Though the cards are clearly marked “Easter,” the far majority are about spring or friendship. Verse after verse spoke of “the season of new beginnings,” “the spring warm and gentle rains and pretty flowers,” or “how it’s great to have friends through all the seasons of the year.” The best we could find was the vague, “Give thanks to God for new life.” Clearly the card companies are not in touch with Easter’s message or have a hard time selling greeting cards that share the Gospel story of Holy Week.
Nearly one third of all four Gospels in the Bible contain the final week of Jesus’ life on earth. It is a story of Palm Sunday through the Sunday of Resurrection (Easter). The week represents the crux of the Christian faith; that Jesus Christ, suffered and died for the world, to redeem the world from sin and death. The story is filled with the Last Supper, betrayal and denial of friends, people sleeping, people shouting, people crying, people fleeing; all while Jesus, the innocent one, faces the cross and death alone while putting his faith in God the Father, despite all the he endures. I know that this is a little much to put in a greeting card; my point is really not to say we need to write better Easter cards. I just wonder though in a world where Easter is more synonymous with spring, friendship, and flowers breaking through the cold days of winter, if is it easy to forget the rest of the story, the meat of the story, all together.
All around the world this week there are churches, churches of many denominations, non-denominations, and persuasions that will be telling or performing the story of this last week of Jesus’ life and its meaning and significance for the world and for each of us. Don’t settle for a joyful, sterile greeting card version of Easter this year, go and live in the story of Jesus Christ in a church that gives witness to the full story of Jesus, his suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension. Dwell in Christ’s story, discover your story in his, and rediscover new life in his name.