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]