Love, hope, salvation. Having journeyed through Lent and Holy Week, I wonder what your Easter Sunday routine is, asks Andrew Weston, Moderator of the Fellowship of United Reformed Youth.
Maybe it starts with sharing Holy Communion at dawn? Or a special Easter breakfast? A big gathering with family and friends, perhaps? Or a joyful Easter service? Maybe it involves going to work? Maybe the Easter breakfast and joyful service are work?
There’s something comforting about settling into our Easter Sunday routine – whatever it might be. The familiarity, the celebration, the reassurance of God’s love for us. The familiar words opening the service, breaking bread and drinking wine together; even the sight of the Easter eggs in the aisles (even if they have changed the chocolate used to make them and it is an outrage – that’s a whole different blog right there!)
I wonder, though, if a danger lies in all that comfortable routine. The words Jesus said to those around him will be familiar to you: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’ (Matthew 16:24) I wonder how we would feel about our routines, day to day and during our Easter celebrations, if Jesus was among us now. Have they become a crutch; the means by which we trick ourselves into believing everything is OK with the world?
Because, actually, we know that everything is definitely not OK. We know that there is injustice all around us, literally on our (church) doorsteps and beyond. We know there are so many people who don’t know our Saviour’s redeeming love, also on our doorsteps and beyond.
So, this Easter time, my challenge is this: While we are blessed by the times of fellowship we spend with those whom we already know and do community with, are we leaving space in our routines to be interrupted?
- To be interrupted by the grace of God.
- To be interrupted by the irrepressible, scandalous truths of the Gospel.
- To be interrupted by the call to serve the poor and to challenge the systems that keep people poor.
- To be interrupted, because celebrating Easter isn’t just about what we do on a particular Sunday but about living redeemed lives with radically adjusted priorities where we can all make a difference
Of course, one of the joys of routine is that it connects us with the saints who have gone before, with those who we partner with alongside God in living out lives witnessing to Him, and with those who will follow us. So let’s celebrate joyously this Easter Sunday! But I pray that we won’t get so bogged down in our religious routines that we lose sight of the most precious thing of all: relationship with Jesus.