EASTER OR CHRISTMAS?
There are two major Christian holidays each year: Christmas and Easter. Which is your favorite?
Our society clearly favours Christmas. Canadians spend significantly more, and celebrate significantly more, at Christmas time. Such a big deal is made about Christmas, that it might surprise you to learn that the New Testament says very little about Christmas and a lot about Easter.
Matthew and Luke each devote their first two chapters to telling the Christmas story. Apart from those chapters, there is very little said in the rest of the Bible about Jesus’ birth—just a verse here or there.
On the other hand, the Good News about the resurrection of Christ appears in all four Gospels. It is the focal point of the preaching recorded in the Book of Acts (along with the cross of Christ). Virtually all of the New Testament letters refer to it—often repeatedly. As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul goes so far as to say, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). (Words like that are never spoken about the Christmas story.)
Although I am saddened that our society has gotten it wrong about the relative importance of these holidays, in a strange way it makes me happy. At Easter time there is less hype, and there are fewer distractions. That means we are freer to focus on the real meaning of the holiday.
I hope that you will take the time to think deeply about the Easter story. And I hope, that as you do, you will be filled with all of the joy that God intends for you. –Pastor Tom
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