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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Does it even matter?

“And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: / For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

Round about this time of year, like Christmas, the thorny question raises it's head like the perennial weed it is: Should we, as Christians, even be celebrating this?  Christians of both persuasions arm themselves with ammunition & lob their missiles at each other.  What does it matter, so long as Christ is preached?

I have been thinking about that question because I know certain things matter very much indeed to our Lord & saviour.  I am merely thinking aloud here.  You are not required to agree, or even to read along unless you like. 

There are a couple of things that immediately come to my mind.  Granted it is a peculiar mind.  The first is the Leviticus principle that was is unholy cannot be made holy.  Someone said to me recently that God can make anything holy.  That is true ~ but he has already declared certain things holy; it is what we do with them that defiles them.  Just because we can justify something in our own minds does not make it okay with God.

So the question then becomes:  What has God already declared holy?  I will come back to that question.

The next thing that sort of slammed into me is that God hates a liar & when it comes to Easter the whole thing is built upon a massive lie ~ & it is a scary lie because if you follow the bunny trail through the old testament of Israel's apostacy it returns again & again, like a boomerang, to Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Eostre.  The name changes but the principle remains the same.  Apostacy & infidility are inextricably linked together & every time God swept through Israel & cleansed the nation what did He do?  He threw down the high altars.  He got rid of the little cakes made for the queen of heaven.  He reiterated, one man, one woman, get rid of the temple prostitutes!

Oh, but no~one is worshipping Eostre anymore; it's just harmless fun.  If it doesn't mean anything then there is no need to do it.  I suspect that's not the case anyway.  I suspect it means what it has always meant because the early church did not celebrate Easter.  It celebrated the Passover, as Christ did.  This is a sticking point for me.  Those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit & in Truth.  The truth is that Easter has nothing to do with God & an awful lot to do with a Babylonian fertility goddess. All the symbols we associate with Easter belong to a pagan deity.  Do you really think God's impressed with that?

Now, on pain of making myself even more unpopular, consider what God put in place & how it lines up scriptually. The Hebrew word moed means Festivals, or appointed times.  These were the special times God put in place for His people to meet specially with Him.  Here we go.  I can hear you, you know!  She's off on that Jewish thing again!  Bear with me because there is an Old Testament application & there is a New Testament application. God put these festivals in place. Now see how the O.T transfers into the N.T!

In Exodus we see the Passover established & the edict goes forth that it is to be remembered & celebrated every year.  Why?  Because it foretells the coming, suffering, death & resurrection of the Messiah!  And guess when Jesus suffered & died.  At Passover.  When you study it certain things come down even to the hour.  The Paschal lamb was slain at 3 in the afternoon.  When did Jesus die?

When did Jesus rise from the dead?  During the Festival of the First Fruits, 3 days later! From this point on the Jews count 50 days to the festival of Shavout.  It was during Shavout the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples as they waited in Jerusalem. Scripture isn't random.  Events don't occur willy~nilly.  They are structured in such a way as to help us remember & celebrate them the way God desires.

Christianity is being grafted by God into the root & branch of Israel.    Israel is not being grafted into us!  So does it matter that the church remembers the death & resurrection of Christ with bunnies & eggs &  hot cross buns?  After all, Christ is being preached.  Whose Christ?  Exactly what message are we sending to the world? At the best it is a compromise.  At worst it is a downright lie.  God has not blessed these things.  He has not ordained them.  The church has.  Oh, yes the church has, amongst controversy & charges of blasphemy & heresy.  Why are we so eager to accept the ordinances of man & so reluctant to walk in the way God Himself ordained?

I am not saying God can't use & bless these things if that's all He's got to work with but would the blessing be greater if the church actually walked in obedience?  Why should the world listen to us when we are just like the world?  Why has the world managed so successfully to commercialize both Christmas & Easter?  Could it possibly be that at the heart the world knows these things really have nothing at all to do with God?

We haven't been in church for quite a few Easters now.  The first one I was distressed to not be worshipping with a body of believers but then God took us on this wild journey that we are still trying to ride out but this year is different.  This year we are part of a church & I am not happy.  They celebrate with a large picnic ~ with eggs ~ for the wider community.  We did not contribute any eggs.  We will not attend the picnic.  We will do a seder at home & go to church as usual on Sunday.  Where conscience will allow we wioll aligne ourselves with the wider body of believers but there are some things that just stick in my craw these days.  Like eggs.  And I love my chocolate; just not more than I love Christ.


Bonnie said...

I totally agree with you. I have tried (in vain it seems) to stay away from the trappings of Christmas and Easter when it comes to my family and instead focus on celebrating/rembering the birth, death, and ressurection of Christ. However--I am married to a pastor of a mainline denomination who celebrate both holidays unashamedly. I can't rock the boat too much. But this year our church is holding a Seder service tonight to teach people about how Jesus intended us to rember his time on this earth and his sacrifice for us.

Ganeida said...

Yay Bonnie. Enjoy!

Ruby said...

No bunnies and eggs here. I was actually thinking just today how quiet folks are regarding Easter, for and against, as compared to the Christmas debates.
We do not celebrate Passover as such, but we do acknowledge all the types and shadows it showed forth so beautifully which are all now fulfilled in Christ. As you wrote, nothing is random in the Bible. And we celebrate his resurrection in a special way every Lord's Day!
Have a good weekend.

Ganeida said...

Ruby: I thought of you. I do remember you don't celebrate at all. You're a strong woman! ☺ We are where we are for now but my questions remain. Perhaps it really doesn't matter?

Ruby said...

I think it matters :-) God does look upon the heart and I can understand and respect the events of Christ's death and resurrection being celebrated from a heart truely seeking to serve and worship the Lord, even though it isn't the way I may do it. What I do not understand, as with Christmas, is the revelling in those wordly symbols (bunnies, eggs, santas, etc) which have nothing to do with Christ.

Ruby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
seekingmyLord said...

I agree with you, but my husband likes to do "Easter." I think the Princess is old enough now to let it go and consider Resurrection Day more seriously along with the Jew holiday and traditions. What was that curriculum you were using on this?

Susan (HomeGrownKids) said...

The point of it all is that, regardless of how it may be to you and I, it is not that clear cut for all.

We all have different weakness and different strengths. We, like the pilgrims in PP, are on a journey. Some of us get tripped up over the little stones while others are wallowing in the swamp and others are sweating it out whilst climbing over the mountains.

God will deal with each of us, as He sees fit, in His time. I have talked with many other believers over the years, as you have too, no doubt, and invariably at this time of year the subject of Easter/Passover/Eggs/Bunnies comes up. I have a lot of time for those new to the faith or those who have not heard the good news. What I have little time for are those believers who are 'older' in the faith, or claim to have been believers for some time, have access to God's word and many other worthy books yet still partake in pagan festivities, whilst claiming to celebrate Easter!

Those who are not saved... have not heard... well how are they to know when they are dead in their sins? Those new to the faith - growth is not an instant or immediate process. It takes time and maturity and faith-life experience. But 'mature' believers? Well... I shall say no more.

Having said that, there are those who are not yet convinced or convicted either way or, for various reasons, have to observe Easter in worldly ways (husbands, etc). I don't walk in their shoes... but God has so I'll let Him deal with them.

But what I do know is that He is Lord of all... the main point of everything is that He is glorified. I have changed a bit in my thinking... if we can use this time to preach the gospel of Christ then let's do it! Any excuse to preach the Lamb who was once slain for the redemption of all creation.

Eph 1:4-7 points out that before time God had intended to show that in time He was the God of all grace. He has always been the God of grace- it is His nature. The Cross has always been a part of his person, His character. When the Cross emerged, in time, it was not as a result of God saying 'oops' rather it was a part of his redemption plan, His eternal plan for man. *HE* loves us that much. But it's not the 'us' that needs emphasizing - it's HIM.

Jeanne said...

I am here, but I'm not commenting. Isn't that a cop- out?!!

Ganeida said...

Ruby: you're coming through loud & clear. ☺

Seeking. A Complete Guide to Celebrating our Messiah in the Festivals ~Susan Mortimer

It covers everything ~ including easy recipes.

Susan: Thank you for your long thoughtful response ~ which I should like to reply to in some depth so I will email you if that's ok? ☺

Jeanne: Surprise me, darl! And you, of so many people I know, would enjoy this so much! And do a much better job of it! I know how much [& how well] you celebrate!!!!

MamaOlive said...

Amen! We are going to get some cheap eggs after easter and save them for some fun on Naysha's birthday. :-) We just don't "do" easter. We do Resurrection Day. I hope to have some special deal Saturday night, but we are very unprepared this year. I bought some matzo a while ago, but that has been the extent of my preparations. Maybe when Bob wakes from his nap he will feel well enough to help me think of what we want to do. :-/

Ganeida said...

MamO. I can't get proper Matzo :( I don't stree too much about the detail. For us it's about the cross.

Susan (HomeGrownKids) said...

Sure is alright Ganeida! I look forward to it. Sorry for going on yesterday... I was all hyped up and in talk mode :)