Sunday, March 27, 2016

One Truth, One Lie--An Easter Story

If you ever want to get a group of people talking when the atmosphere is quiet and slightly uncomfortable, play a game called One Truth, One Lie.  Each person in the room has to come up with two facts about themselves, one that is unknown but completely true, the other a total lie.  Everyone else tries to determine which fact is true, and which is totally fabricated.  The result is usually a lot of laughter, and some insight into the lives of people you most likely wouldn't have had in normal conversation.  Try it, it's really fun!

Today is Easter, or better put, Resurrection Sunday.  As I do about Christmas, I struggle with the Easter holiday as it is celebrated in our culture.  I made a late-night excursion to our local Walmart last night and was so hit with the huge commercial enterprise Easter has become.

I don't know about you, but nothing screams Happy Easter louder for me than multi-colored Peeps in a Spiderman Easter bucket, along with Ninja Turtles eggs nestled in with an Avenger action figure. Sprinkle in some Jolly Rancher jelly beans and orange M&M's in a carrot-shaped wrapper, and you have a feast fit for a prince.   I need therapy.

Oh, and don't forget the huge bunny or egg-shaped pinata.  No Easter would be complete without blindfolded children hitting a rabbit with a stick so they can dive on even more candy.  How have I never thought about doing that until now?  Must be a second-rate Easter celebrator.

What the what?

There's something much bigger here.  We have settled for a lie.  We have accepted the wrapper because it's so colorful and full of promises and have tried to unwrap it and there is nothing inside. The lie boasts that it's okay that the most important christian  holiday (holy day) of the year has turned into a big charade about rabbits and eggs and candy.  That is it?  Where is the promise in that?

The HUGE promise of new life, of hope, of a Spring in our lives has been trampled on by a huge rabbit carrying a basket of eggs.  And we know it and do it anyway.

I overheard my husband talking on the phone to someone last night who wants him to perform their wedding ceremony.  He asked what they've been up to since their counseling sessions, why they had stopped coming to church.  I overheard him politely trying to convince them to bring their children to church on Easter.  Company in town?   That's okay, bring them too.  It's Easter!  Sadly, it's obvious they had no intention of celebrating the Resurrection.  It will be a day focused on  candy, the bunny, the food.

The lie shouts from the aisles of the department stores," This is it!  This is all there is, so eat chocolate! Hunt for eggs! Buy a new toy! Wear the new clothes!"  

And when it's all over, if you're not careful,  you will be right where you are right now--searching for answers for pain and struggle, hope for tomorrow, a reason to live.

There is truth, my friend. But you won't find it in the holiday aisle of your department store.  Jesus died on a cross 2,016 years ago to prove to you that this life is not the end.  There is meaning in your existence, there is purpose in your struggle, there is a future for you.  You can have all these things, but there is a catch.

The catch is that you need to come to God on His terms. You don't get to play multiple choice with His commandments.  He paid the ultimate price by giving His only Son to suffer and die on a cross as a gift to you and I.  A Son who paid with His life a penalty for sin that we could not pay.  Give your life to Him, follow Him, make Him number one in your life and you will find a miracle of truth that you didn't even know was there.

The God of the universe who created you loves you, and has a purpose for your life.  Why not start today and embrace the truth of the Resurrection!