Sunday, April 4, 2010

What Do You Believe about Celebrating Holy Week

While the rest of the world is waking up this morning to celebrate Christ's resurrection, I am asking a question.  Why do we need Holy Week to reflect on Christ's death and resurrection?  I grew up in Texas.  When I was a child on Easter morning, I would wake up to new clothes, shoes, and a hat.   Later in the morning, my family and I would attend a traditional southern Easter service.    The choir would sing a special Easter cantata, and the pastor would preach on the resurrection.  After the service, we would have an Easter egg hunt for all the children.  People, who gave no thought of Christ throughout the year,  would pack the pews, wanting to punch their spiritual time clock in order to earn their way into heaven.

This week I reflected on why many professing evangelicals celebrate Holy Week.  It wasn't always the case.  In a distant past, evangelicals would have felt that such practice was catholic in conviction.   Why is Easter so special?  Don't we celebrate the resurrection of Christ every Sunday?  Why did the early church assemble on the first day of the week?  Was it because of their Lord's resurrection?  Isn't every Lord's day an Easter celebration?

 What do you believe about celebrating Holy Week?  Do you find it helpful?  Have you given it much thought as to why you observe these religious holidays?  Is it conviction or just tradition?  How do these religious holidays affect people's view of the Lord's day?


I am blessed! said...

Yes, each week is about the resurrection, but somehow familiarity breeds contempt or something. I think it's nice to take extra time to think about the resurrection as we approach Easter Sunday. The kids memorized Mark 16:2-8 and shared it with the church this morning. It took them about 4 Wednesdays and each week it gave me the chance to emphasize the resurrection and how it's the basis for our faith now and future hope. So, while we should talk of it every week, we don't always, or at least it isn't emphasized. I also like to have traditions, and I think we're free to celebrate holidays, but should respect those among us who don't feel the same way, too. I've never understood why people who stay home most of the year turn out for church on Easter Sunday. That doesn't make sense to me, at all. And we do like to eat ham on Easter. I don't know why, we just do. And we all look forward to it. One funny thing is my husband basically preaches the same sermon each Easter with minor variations. Each year he has people who have heard it every year come up to him and say they were so encouraged by it and have just never heard that before. Every year he wonders if anyone's really listening out there or if they're listening, but just can't remember it for a whole year.

MommaMindy said...

I grew up like you, with Easter bunnies but no resurrection.

I am blessed to now fellowship with a group of Christians that celebrate the death and resurrection every Lord's day by breaking bread together. A full hour of singing, thoughts from the Scriptures, prayers and many times tears of thanksgiving, help us to remember, as often as we get together, that He died for us, and rose victorious over the grave.

You are right. We don't need a day set aside to celebrate. As born-again believers, we should DAILY be rejoicing in the resurrection and the power it gives us over sin, death and Hell.

Praise the Savior, ye who know Him! Who can tell how much we owe Him. Gladly let us, render to Him, all we are and have.

Blessings to you today! Thanks for the thought and praise provoking blog.

Julie said...

I like having lots of Easter traditions in my family that I think my kids will always remember. The Old Testament is full of festivals and feasts to commemorate events so I think that's just what we're doing now. I think just because we set aside some special days doesn't mean that I never think about it otherwise the rest of the year. That would be like saying that just because I celebrate my child's birthday once a year it must mean I don't celebrate his birth every day I'm with him.

The church is full of lukewarm people who also come every Sunday and punch their time card. I guess Easter sometimes magnifies it.

Gretchen and John said...

I totally believe you're right, Debbie. Every Lord's Day is supposed to be our resurrection day. Sometimes I feel unspiritual, though, when I read other Christians' thoughts for Good Friday, etc. and realize I haven't been thinking about Christ's death and resurrection as much as they seem to have. That can be convicting! I think that how it's celebrated, so long as our worship is regulated by the Bible and we keep the Lord's Day, is a matter of Christian liberty. It wouldn't matter to me what our pastor preached on, but why not preach on the resurrection? It's such a glorious truth, and as "I am blessed" commented, it's not a bad thing to be reminded of this truth, albeit by man-made traditon.

Sometimes my parents gave us Easter candy on Saturday or Monday when we were growing up, so we still had that to look forward to without being distracted by it on the Lord's Day.