Wednesday, March 27, 2013


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.
10. I do not like Easter as a holiday.

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

I never have liked Easter as a holiday. 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 just for a point of reference.

Every year on Easter I have made a point of wearing old clothes to church. This year it will be boots and jeans, [a bit frayed] sport coat, and shirt with no tie. {Come to think of it, that's been my attire for the past couple of years basically. LOL]

Every year on Easters past 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" were normally hearing 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" then whatever particular topic we were on was heard by the Easter congregation.

Because of this personal idiosyncrasy the people heard from me on some rather unorthodox topics on Easter Sunday morning through the years.  One time I was in a series on Bible doctrine and the subject the week before Easter happened to be "heaven." So you guessed what the Easter crowd heard. Easter Sunday that year I dealt with the subject of "hell." I was able, however, 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 Easter 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 ten 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, it would seem to me, 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 Easter and
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 2013. [Next Sunday]

Paul B.


Christiane said...

hope you are feeling better

my concern for people celebrating Christmas and Easter who are evangelical Christians is this:

the two days are a part of tradition in the Church that includes preparation time before each . . . a time of reflection and repentance

without these times of preparation, it would be easy to overlook so much of the true meaning of Christmas and Easter,
and I think that is what has happened . . . and the 'culture' hasn't helped with all the materialism, either

It might be better for people who aren't a part of the tradition that follows the Church year fully to move away from an acknowledgment of traditional 'holy days' in the Church year,
rather than to expose their children to an experience that is lacking in the full meaning of those events in the life of Christ.

Some people feel differently, and I do understand their points of view. And children LOVE those days so much . . . so there are valid reasons for 'celebrating' them, I know . . . but spiritual preparation for celebrating the events in the life of Christ is necessary to counter-act shallowness and materialism to which we all are prone at times.

God Bless You, Paul, and your family

Paul Burleson said...


Thanks for the comment. I appreciate you pointing out the value of taking time to reflect on the reason for Easter.

My point is not, as you know, celebrating Easter, as I believe we do that each day and together on the first day of each week.

My point is about HOW we celebrate it. Once a year as a holiday is the American way. That's the way I am disliking in my post. The Church in America will vary on approaches of how to do it certainly, as you've accurately pointed out.

I just returned from Greece where the Greek Orthodox Church has a unique way to be sure.

Another interesting Easter ritual can be found in Russia. They have the Easter egg decoration down pat. The predominant color for egg dyeing in Russia is red. The red dye is chosen because it symbolizes the blood of Christ. Furthermore, people crack the eggs open using nails, in order to remind themselves again of the death of Christ.

No problem in any of these except, as Wade, my son, once said, "If we're not careful we'll treat Easter as if we were getting home from a long sea voyage, and met by our wife, we take out our picture of her and kiss it rather than kissing our real wife."

I'm hoping we don't miss kissing our risen Savior every day and together as a congegation kissing Him every Sunday.

Aussie John said...


So pleased you won't call me a nincompoop. Not that I will give you the opportunity, because I'm totally on board, as I suspect you would already know.

The "special day" syndrome has shriveled the heart of the church,much as the traditional ideas about worship, which leads believers astray, and destroys any thought that the whole of life is worship, along with corporate activities.

"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 Easter and is a reminder for me that I live in His grace BECAUSE He is alive and He's alive in me".

Amen to that! How I would love to give that gift to every one who names the precious name of Jesus!

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I appreciate your comments and want you to know that, while in Greece last week tracing the steps of Paul's second missionary journey, we met a group of travelers from Australia and I felt a warmness toward them that I told Mary was from communicating with you so often that I felt a genuine affinity toward all things and people Australian.

It was a good feeling to think of you then and to hear from you today.

Steve Miller said...

Welcome back Paul. I would hope one day to make the trip to Greece that you just made; it sounds exciting. Thanks much for your post. I remember one of those Basic Bible Doctrine sermons on Easter and just like every message I have heard you preach you emphasized that Jesus is Lord and the power of His resurrection is real every day. I was saved on an Easter Sunday as a young boy and the thrill of knowing every Sunday is Easter to me is a precious reminder of His grace and faithfulness. Thanks for sharing.


Paul Burleson said...


It WAS an exciting trip. I would recommend it for anyone who loves scripture AND history. It is well worth the time.