Life lines- What does Easter mean for you?
By Ian Robinson, Major
Each year, Easter appears to come and go more rapidly, almost under the radar.
In contrast, the build up to Christmas seems to begin as soon as Labor Day is over. Here at Southern California Divisional Headquarters we have already held planning meetings for the Kettle Kick Off event. As early as September, Christmas decorations will appear in stores, and by November—long before Thanksgiving—we will be in the full seasonal swing.
But Easter comes and goes and a lot of people hardly notice it. Even with the slight emphasis put on the Lenten season it still doesn’t get the attention it merits. Perhaps the responses to last year’s question by the BBC in the United Kingdom give us some insight into why this season is so underwhelming to most. They asked, “What does Easter mean for you?” and here is a sampling of the responses.
• Another bank holiday—cars clogging
the roads towing caravans at 40 miles
per hour with huge tailbacks
• Easter eggs and hot cross buns that are cold
• I get two days off work.
• Just another bank holiday like all the others
• A break from the futile grind
• Myth and mirth
• No work, no getting up early, just a lazy few days off
• Our village’s annual duck race
• Traffic jams and rain
• Nothing—I’m retired and hate all religions.
These answers are not surprising in light of a recent commentary in the Guardian newspaper that said that Britain is no longer a Christian nation. In a 1985 survey, 63 percent of respondents identified themselves as Christian with 32 percent indicating that they subscribed to no religion at all. In 2009, less than 44 percent of respondents identified themselves as Christians and just over 50 percent said they subscribe to no religion at all. Easter has lost its meaning to many people, not only in the U.K. but here in the U.S. as well. In a survey by The Barna Group, 42 percent of Americans linked Easter with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and only 2 percent said they would describe Easter as the most important holiday of their faith.
So what does Easter mean for you? For me, as a child it meant waving goodbye to my dad as the coach-carrying Govan band rolled off for another Easter weekend campaign. As a young man, it meant overtime pay because I always worked during the holiday season. Twenty-six years ago our son David was born on Easter Sunday. And since becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ, I totally embrace the statement of one solitary respondent to the BBC question:
• Easter means for me that the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins and was resurrected to give those that believe in him eternal life. What a Savior—hallelujah!
Such a bold statement requires bold living. If this is what Easter means for me then my life must bring the message of the cross and the resurrection to those around me. If it does not, then I am no better than the 50 percent of British people who claim no religion at all. The Bible says, He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again (2 Corinthians 4:15). That’s what Easter means for me. What does Easter mean for you?