There is nothing like living outside of your home country for bringing home the significance of holidays we grow to take for granted. For believers in Christ, Easter is the celebration that makes us question how we’ve lived to this point in time. When we move from a place where the resurrection of Christ is hidden by chocolate, bunnies, eggs, and fancy clothes, to one where neither is known, a reality check is required.
What does Easter really mean? Have I allowed cultural appropriation to steal the honor and gratitude and worship Christ’s sacrifice deserves, because I lumped him in with all the rest?
And what about the day after Easter Sunday? Does everything return to “normal,” as we get back to language learning, ministry responsibilities, or taking care of kids? It doesn’t have to if you celebrate the Resurrected Christ every day of the year.
The joy of watching national believers honor and celebrate the Resurrected Christ, some for the first time as new members in the Family of God, puts me to shame. Very few in this world have the privilege of living in areas where there are churches on every corner, their government allows freedom of worship, or their families accept their Christian faith. Yet, it is in exactly these places and with these people, where Christ receives the greatest glory, because it’s not from their fancy clothes that they show their respect for Christ, but from the state of their hearts.
It’s also in these places and in these people that Easter is not a one-time event, but a daily celebration and commemoration of the cost Christ paid on our behalf, because those who follow him in the hard places pay a daily price to do so.
One of the worst things we can do as cross-cultural Christ followers is to bring our cultural trappings to our spiritual times of worship. Can you celebrate Easter and Christmas without bunnies and Santa? How would you do it? What does it say about you as a Christ-proclaimer?
What does the day after Easter look like for you? Is the sacrifice of Jesus and the miracle of his Resurrection still on your lips? Is it still reflected in your face, your speech, your way of life among the nations?
Maybe you serve among your own people—how does your celebration of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ differ from those around you? Do you look any different from those around you?
Easter has lost its meaning in the English language. Maybe it’s time to change what you celebrate to Resurrection Sunday instead.
Christ IS Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Ask the Lord how you can live every day in the light of his resurrection and to his glory.
Grace and Peace