Over the course of the next week (especially on Sunday) we will eat more than 600 million Peeps. Yes, that sugar-coated, yellow, marshmallow, baby chicken. Okay, they got more than just yellow ones now. We will hide millions of hard-boiled and plastic eggs. We will eat a billion ears off of chocolate bunnies. And then the rest. Must start with the ears. We will spend $130 per household for various Easter-themed items that we really don’t need. Of course, all of these facts mean nothing this year as we are facing an Easter that is surrounded by the fall-out of the COVID-19 virus. Things will be different.
While many of us will not even purchase a single Peep or decorate a single egg because we cannot go outside to the store, Easter shall come. Sunday is Easter/Resurrection Day whether we like it or not.
Facts & Religiosity
Many Christians freak out because of the “real” facts behind the word “Easter” and the fertility goddess behind the name. The truth behind the bunny rabbit. The honest facts of eggs and what that’s all about.
So we see the origins of this holiday and we ask ourselves whether or not the pagan sources should be brought out and the Christian told that he no longer should celebrate it. Is it a sin to celebrate a holiday that glorifies the habits of heathen beliefs? Do we face the “wrath” of God because we consume decorated eggs or traipse around in an Easter bunny costume scaring the junk out of little kids? These and other questions come around this time of year, every year. And Christmas time, too!
Has society’s demand for holidays spilled over into the church to such a degree that we are full of materialized thinking, leaving the spiritual behind in an effort to reach a dying world? Or just fulfilling our own craving and lust for chocolate? Tongue in cheek, yes, but there is truth in that thought. Has the church handled the facts behind Easter as it should?
Nicky, Martin & The Past
I was at a large meeting once in Sacramento, California where Nicky Cruz was the key speaker. An amazing individual. And the real person behind the Erik Estrada character in the movie, “The Cross and the Switchblade”. This was a book written by David Wilkerson based upon his life of bringing Jesus to the gangs in New York City. It was also the first Christian book I read besides the Bible.
Nicky’s life was immersed in the Mau Mau gang. His life was filled with evil acts and causing pain for other gangs and innocent bystanders. He was, simply put, a sinful, wretched, corrupt, and vicious man. He had his own rules and did not care who was hurt or killed in the process. A man truly meant to spend eternity in hell. Then God showed up.
Everything in Nicky’s life changed. He became not only a good person but indeed, began teaching the world around him the greatness of the God that transformed him.
What if someone came forward to tell the world the truth behind his life? What if it became a big deal in the church that Nicky Cruz had an awful past and shouldn’t be listened to? Then, the truth begins to topple all those who also had a past. Then what?
Let’s say for a minute that there was God of chocolate that sacrificed the red-crested tree-rat every year on the 15th of January. A horrible thing to do, for certain. We need those tree-rats! Especially the red ones. So a thousand years go by and a man is born on January 15th. He grows to become one of the greatest civil rights leaders to ever live. So much so that we begin celebrating his birthday. Then someone finds out that the red-crested tree-rat used to be sacrificed on Mr. King’s birthday, so we can no longer celebrate him.
Stupid and ridiculous, isn’t it? Yes, it is.
Nicky Cruz is a great man of God because of what he was saved from. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great man of God and an incredible freedom fighter. Can we toss these because of the past?
Easter (the holiday) celebrates the PROOF of Jesus’ claim of Deity. It wasn’t enough that He died on a cross, but to prove to all that He was Salvation and the Son of God, He rose. Just as He said He would.
Sanctifying A Day
Remembering what God did on that day sanctifies anything that it might have been in the past. It doesn’t encourage or oblige it. It doesn’t verify the existence of a goddess or her power. It doesn’t advocate the fertility rites of a bygone, apostate, pagan belief system. The past, like our own past, is washed away. The truth of the past does not alter what God is doing now.
As Jesus sat with His disciples eating dinner the night before His death on the cross, He told them, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” Was He talking about just communion of wine and bread? Maybe, perhaps, possibly we can set aside and celebrate Easter, His resurrection, in remembrance of Him?
Matt has been writing blogs since 2008. Newspaper articles prior to that. Most of it has been about the goodness of God. “Life’s greatest purpose is God and all that entails.” He has written and published seven books with a long list waiting in line. His prolific writing is attributed, by himself, to a gift from the Great Master Author. The books range from devotionals to Christian and family fiction. The genres’ variety has demanded that he use pen names. So he writes all his devotionals and blogs under “Matt Davenport”. Adult/Christian fiction is written under M.R.Davenport. And he writes Y.A. under E.M.Oliver. The Y.A. writing is currently under a goal of two separate series’ that will, eventually, converge into one another. These two series’ involve a total of 10 books (one written and published already) that are set to culminate by the end of 2025.
He is married to his best friend and editor, Nancy. Between the two of them, they have 7 children and 12 grandchildren. They are blessed to reside on a beautiful, old farm (built during the Civil War) which they share with a very large heard of goats and two chummy barn cats. Which is all located in Oregon.
“While my work will always have a great range of story and character, I will never be embarrassed by children (mine or someone else’s) reading it.”
Sapphire Arts is his and his wife’s company. It is still in the baby stages and will eventually combine a publishing and design LLC. Add to that the talent they both have for creation (woodcraft, seamstress craft, digital design, etc), and SA will have much to offer.
They have a daily (Monday through Saturday) online Bible Study at 9 a.m. Pacific time. It is open to anyone who wishes to join in and watch by requesting to be friends with Matt on Facebook.