Thursday, April 08, 2010


Let me say from the outset.....

1. I do not believe it is a sin to celebrate Easter once a year.

2. I do not believe it is a sin to hunt Easter eggs on Easter Sunday.

3. I do not believe it is a sin to wear new clothes to church on Easter.

4. I do not believe it is a sin to buy your kids an Easter basket.

5. I do not believe it is wrong to preach on the resurrection on Easter.

6. I do not believe it is wrong to have a sunrise Easter service.

7. I do not believe the way I do things is the right way to do things.

8. I do not believe you should do as I do.

9. I do not believe you, if you disagree with what I'm about to say, are a
nincompoop. [Look it up in the dictionary. It's a real word.]

All that said, I would say further......

I do not like Easter. I never have. Easter, for me, has never been a very special time and I seem unable to get caught up in all the eggs, baskets, rabbits, clothes OR the one day a year celebration of the resurrection of Christ for that matter. Before I say WHY this is true, let me share some of my personal Easter idiosyncrasies that have developed over the years.

Every year on Easter I have made a point of wearing old clothes to church. This year it was boots and jeans, [frayed] sport coat, and western shirt with no tie.

Every year on Easter I generally made a point of not preparing a special Easter message. I chose to let the "once a year attenders" get in on what "regular attenders" normally heard on Sunday morning. This sometimes presented me with some unusual situations.

For example, I usually preached in series on Sunday mornings that were determined by the text or topic. This means if I happened to be preaching through say, 1 Corinthians, I dealt with the next passage regardless. If I happened to be in a series like "Basic Bible Doctrines" whatever particular topic we were on was heard by the Easter congregation.

Because of this personal idiosyncrasy I was one time in a series on Bible doctrine and the subject the week before Easter happened to be "heaven." You guessed it. Easter Sunday I dealt with the subject of "hell." I was able to tie it in with the idea that the resurrection [I'm not adverse to mentioning this EVERY Sunday.] was assurance God had accepted the work of the Cross as satisfactory for our justification and therefore "hell" was not in the picture for any believer.

Another time I was in the middle of a series entitled 'Family Life' and the message that came next was on marriage. That Sunday morning crowd heard a message far removed from their reason for wearing bonnets and new dresses or suits. But I was able to direct their attention to the fact that it takes the power of the Holy Spirit creating the life of a risen Christ in us to be able to be to each other what marriage demands.

Now you are probably wondering why!! Why would I have such a problem with Easter? [Now might be a good time to go back over the opening nine facts.]

My simple answer to the 'why' question is this. EVERY SUNDAY IS EASTER.

Every Sunday we gather to celebrate corporately the reality of the fact that on the first day of the week Jesus was raised from the dead for our justification. Every Sunday is Easter and is far too important to allow it to degenerate into a once a year kind of remembrance for me.

For me, every DAY is truly a Sabbath, as I rest in His grace from my labors of my own works to be accepted by Him and every SUNDAY is a reminder for me that I live in His grace BECAUSE He is alive and He's alive in me.

Join me in worship this coming EASTER. [Next Sunday]

Paul B.


Bob Cleveland said...

So if I'm hearing you correctly you're somewhat of a fan of that "Holy Ghost" Jesus said He'd send back down here to guide men and furthermore that this "Holy Ghost" may just lead different people into different paths, equipping them to do so via differing gifts and different preferences and different proclivities?

Discipleship with Differences?

Listening without Lockstep?

Religion without Rigidity?

Goodness Gracious......

Paul Burleson said...


You, my friend, have hit the proverbial nail on the head with a sledgehammer.

Christiane said...

Paul, you wrote:
"But I was able to direct their attention to the fact that it takes the power of the Holy Spirit creating the life of a risen Christ in us to be able to be to each other what marriage demands."

My son was recently married to a very beautiful young Hispanic woman in a Catholic ceremony (in two languages).
The priest said what you just wrote, in almost the same wording.
He also said that the central Figure of the wedding ceremony was Our Lord Christ.
The flowers, the music of the string quartet, all the beauty of the ceremony did not overwhelm that focus on Our Lord, but pointed to Him, which made it all come together as a whole.

Paul Burleson said...


Now that sounds like the way a wedding ought to be.

My congratulations to the
newly- weds and their parents.

Rex Ray said...

I believe you’ve made a good point about Easter being every Sunday.

I though of your point when I read yesterday’s headlines of a local newspaper: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

I heard this ‘story’:
Based on Christians having Easter and Jews having Passover Holy Days, Atheists sued for their recognition day.

The judge quoted Psalm 14:1 – “The fool says in his heart, there is no God.”

He threw the case out of court because Atheists already had their day – April 1.

Chris Ryan said...


I sure do appreciate your opening concessions. Because I sure do believe that Easter should be about Easter - though that does not preclude us from treating the resurrection any and every Sunday to be sure. Of course, I'm also a big fan of following the themes of the liturgical year. In that respect, I make a very bad Baptist. But if God can forgive me for that, I sure hope y'all can (now I know I've been in Texas too long!). :)

Paul Burleson said...


Now that is one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time. Good stuff Rex.


If I were a betting baptist I'd bet you and I are at the opposite end of the "liturgical spectrum" when it comes to congregational worship.

But I'd also bet we'd be able to sit down for a starbucks and enjoy a good time of theological discussion and leave better friends than when we started.

If we ever get to do that..I'm buying.

Bobby Brown said...

I went to the Casino on Good Friday!

Bob Cleveland said...


The whole deal kind of reminds me of having once-a-year "Revivals". You know .. that time during which we're all asked that we pray God to send a "Mighty Holy Ghost Revival", that He awaken our Spirits and renew our dedication, and He bring in people in droves and soften their hearts.

Oh, yes .. not this week, or next Sunday, either. Or even the following Sunday. Please don't do it then.

Three weeks from next Sunday, please.

I just never really "got" that.

Paul Burleson said...


God is going to get you. ;0


I'm with you.

I DO see the wisdom in having a few days of bible conference or renewal days or whatever we wish to call it, but to think of even asking God for revival twice a year because those are the times our calendar calls for it is not my kind of thinking either..

traveller said...

These are all good thoughts and some fun I have enjoyed as well.

My thoughts run to every day is resurrection day since Jesus' coming and resurrection heralds our own one day. It also heralds the new creation plus the joining of heaven and earth in that new creation. I think living into that resurrection is what every day is about. Redeemed life, redeemed creation, and our becoming the complete humans God intended from the beginning. That is worth celebrating each day! Blessings to all this resurrection day.

Paul Burleson said...


Now that enables me to change "I don't like Easter" to "I love Easter." [The way traveller uses it." ;)

Aussie John said...


Just arrived back from being inland 250 kilometres.

It is exactly your kind of thinking that has caused me to be on the receiving end of unpleasant comments more than a few times.

I, also, do not like "special" days, but agree with your 9 disclaimers.

I live in the Sabbath rest. Even though agreeing with your nine points, I believe "special" days and seasons have done great harm to the believing community.

The birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Christ is what every day is about.

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I think, in keeping with the name of this blog, you and Traveller have 'bottomlined' it quite well with this.."The birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Christ is what every day is about." That just about says it all.

I do realize that for some Christians using a day as 'special' to celebrate something about Him [Christmas-His birth, Easter-His death] is very important and even a blessing, but, that said, I believe it can become THE focus to the loss of EACH day in Christ very easily and perhaps has in our day.

And, while I don't want to do anything out of fear, even refuse to celebrate a special day for fear of losing something, I do choose personally to emphasize what you guys are pointing out,

By the way, that inland 250 kilometres trip sounds GREAT. Next time I'll go and carry your gear for you. ;)

Rex Ray said...

I agree that we should look upon every day as Easter and Christmas, but each has its place in history and the teaching thereof.

The night I turned the lights on a 12 foot star in the picture of the slide, a five year old told his mother, “I thought Jesus had come back.”

The Bible taught to youth will see them into eternity.

That picture is quite different than a book describing the birth of Jesus telling the suffering of Mary and the misshapen head caused by the birth canal.

Aussie John said...


I would love to spend a few days/weeks showing you around, but my body objects to even short trips such as we took.

And still, I agree with what you are saying.

I respect the practices of those who don't believe as I do, especially concurring with your words,"And, while I don't want to do anything out of fear, even refuse to celebrate a special day for fear of losing something..".

As a pastor in traditional Baptist churches I didn't buck the system to the extent that would harm sensitivities on these matters, but as a greater appreciation for the full meaning of the New Covenant became clear, my own personal views changed, and so did my allegiances (if you know what I mean, and I'm sure you do).