Why Go To Church On Easter Sunday?

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Why go to church on Easter Sunday? by Warren Mainard

Easter. It’s the one Sunday of the year when anyone who has ever colored a picture of Jesus, sung Amazing Grace or put on a fancy hat might come to church. Easter Sunday is usually the highest attended worship service of the year for most churches. There are a lot of reasons why people go to church on Easter Sunday. You know you have your reasons too. Here are a few that you might identify with-

– To make a family member happy… You go to the Easter service because your fanatical wife begs you to do it for her and the kids. You go to the Easter service to make your old fashioned parents happy. You go to the Easter service to make your little brother in the Easter play happy. Whoever it is, the reason you “G.O.” to church on Easter Sunday is based mostly on “Guilt” and Obligation” to someone else.

– To make God happy… You understand the deal with God. Keeping God happy isn’t that tough; show up to church on Christmas and Easter, be a good person and try not to ruffle too many feathers about why you don’t come to church the rest of the year. You tell the Pastor he preached a good sermon and wave to your old Sunday School teacher from across the parking lot as you get into your car to leave. The smile on their faces lets you know that God is pretty pumped that you attended, which should keep things cool between you and Him until Christmas.

– To make yourself happy… Something about the church Easter service just seems to touch you every year. Often, the stirring music, dramatic presentation and impassioned message will even move you to joyful tears. The inspirational service brings back warm memories of Easter dresses, flowers and familiar songs from your simpler days as a youth. Call it nostalgic euphoria if you will, but it feels good, like watching a religious hallmark movie in your snuggies.

Sound familiar? Most of us deal with a cocktail of mixed motivations for attending church on Easter Sunday. It’s not that you don’t appreciate the whole Easter holiday, you do. The eggs and bunnies for the kids, the church service for the family, and an extra day off of work is a nice throw in too. When Monday morning rolls around it will be back to business as usual, but that’s just the way it is right?

So, why should someone come to church on Easter? The message of Easter, that has been celebrated for 2,000 years and how you respond to that message is what really matters. The Easter service itself? Not so much…

Whether you attend an Easter service with a choir and an organ or a drum set and smoke machine doesn’t matter.   Whether you attend an Easter service with cutting edge videos or church members wearing bathrobes and sandals doesn’t matter. Whether the Pastor preaches in a suit and tie or a deep V-neck t-shirt doesn’t matter. None of that matters.

What matters is how you will respond to the central message of Easter- The Resurrection of Jesus. How you respond to the truth of Easter is nothing short of a matter of life and death. Your response to the resurrection of Jesus will literally define every aspect of your life, death and eternity. Your response to the resurrection of Jesus will…

– Determine your hope for your future.

– Define your perspective of your past.

– Deliver peace for your present.

– Defy death in your eternity.

Your love, joy, hope, peace, life, death, purpose, meaning, relationships and faith, all hang in the balance on the message of Easter. You can’t just “get in, get out, and get on with your life” when you see Easter for what it truly is. Will you see Easter for what it is this Sunday? You may have heard the Easter story a thousand times, or you may be hearing it for the very first time, but if you have not rightly responded to the story of Easter, you will walk away unchanged and without any hope of change. Get to church on Easter Sunday, but even better let Easter Sunday get to you!

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Warren is the lead pastor at Essential Church in Bellevue, WA. Essential church is a new plant with a great vision to magnify Christ and multiply His kingdom