Santa Claus versus the Easter Bunny
Which holiday is most important, Christmas or Easter? (Or what came first, the reindeer or the egg?)
As we approach Easter Sunday once again, I’m left with only one question, “What’s our brother gotta do to get some attention from secular culture?”
By “our brother” I mean, Jesus.
By “secular culture” I mean the bunny-crazy Easter fanatics…
By “attention” I mean a little bit of love for all the love He shows us…
Christmas might be the “biggest” holiday in secular society, the most anticipated, most commercial, most celebrated and, generally, the most observed, but it’s not Easter.
Sure, Christmas has all the fun songs, the presents, the snow (for some), the tree, the reindeer, etc. but it’s not Easter.
Sure, Christmas is supposed to celebrate (although many malls and stores don’t show it) the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and that is an incredibly important, landmark event in the history of humanity. The Incarnation is love in action…but it’s not Easter.
Read the above verse again. Why did Christ come? To save sinners. Christmas is the beginning of the story, but Easter is the end...and a new beginning. In short, the cross and resurrection are the point of His coming.
This isn't a competition between holidays. It's not like it's a showdown, a battle royal between Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Far from it, those two would both be next to the manger, kneeling like they should be.
Do I have anything against Christmas? No way. I love Christmas, but it’s the beginning of the story, not the climax. Christmas is beginning of the movie when you fall in love with the characters, are intrigued by the plot, enraptured by the story and are on the edge of your seat to see what happens next. Easter, though, is even more.
Easter is that part of the movie when you are breathless with anticipation. When the truths you are experiencing are so real and so intense that you smile or laugh only to catch your breath between sobbing. When you feel your stomach turn, the lump build in your throat and the tear form in your eye. The story of Holy Week doesn’t “cancel out” the Christmas story it illuminates it. It sets it apart as even more special.
When I said, “What’s a brother gotta do?” I meant that reverently. What else would Jesus have had to have done to draw people’s attention?
Live a completely selfless life of service and humility? Done.
Give a message of equality and dignity to all He encountered? Done.
Preach peace in a culture of war? Done.
Forgive when others refused to do so? Done.
Speak the truth with unyielding passion and urgency, but also with love? Done.
Reach out to the disenfranchised, the harlots, zealots, lepers and sinners? Done.
Stand “trial” before false witnesses, biased judges and spineless politicians? Done.
Hang before people spitting on Him and killing Him and forgive them? Done.
Helplessly look at His mother as He died? Done.
Rise from the dead…? Done.
What else could Jesus possibly have done to gain people’s attention?
More to the point, what else could Jesus possibly have done to gain my attention?
I love Christmas, but Christmas (while fun) is only the beginning of the story. It’s the second most important event in the history of the world. What happens this Holy Week-end is the main event. The manger lies in the shadow of the cross. The cave He was born in under the Bethlehem night sky is a foreshadowing of the cave He was resurrected in during a Jerusalem sunrise.
Christmas is not the holiday enemy of Easter, it is the same holiday, just at a different stage in life’s journey.
If you have a strong love for Christmas (more so than Easter), the goal should not be “how do I make Christmas less primary” but, rather, how can I make Easter, more primary, more special than it presently is in my home?
Jesus is happy for His birthday party (Christmas), but He wants you to celebrate your birthday party (Easter)…
"Christ came into the world to save sinners." - 1 Tim. 1:15
And thank God He did...
Happy Birthday...Merry Christmas...and Happy Easter.
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