My Easter Message

As many people flock on down to their church of choice this Easter, the one with the most cars in the parking lot, the one that Grandma or Uncle so and so goes to or even that person you’re interested in attends I wonder what Jesus would think about all of this?

Side Note: Now there may be someone reading this who may want to challenge my use of the phrase ‘church of choice’. Allow me to say that I respect, understand and acknowledge your argument.

I use the word ‘choice’ as an inclusive word that I believe Christianity to be. I also use the word ‘choice’ as to steer clear from promoting denominationalism. The argument from within The Church of what name should be on the building or what we call ourselves, Christ or God or something else is one I feel maybe too innate of a discussion for what I’m getting at with this post.

Perhaps I have a macro view of that argument instead of a micro one, but I only make this note to acknowledge that I know of the argument that springs up when someone uses the phrase ‘church of your choice’. So I respectfully ask of those who seek the fundamentals to refrain from this argument for another day.

For some it’s one of three times within the year they’ll even find themselves in a church. You know the E.M.C. Christians, the Easter, Mother’s Day & Christmas folks. 🙂 Fear not, I’m not going to be too hard on you today; I’m glad that you’re in a church. You’re always welcome. You’re welcomed once, you’re welcomed twice, you’re welcoming in the name of OK OK let me get serious.

First I would like to offer some friendly advice for those who qualify as an E.M.C. Christian. Do not be wooed or intimidated by all the people with their freshly purchased clothes outfits on today. Many of them may call themselves a Christian, but they only go to church for entertainment, fashion, the hook-up or to satisfy some superiority complex anyway.

Now if you’re serious, pay attention to the ones who talk with you and not to you. They tend to not judge you for only strolling up in the church 3 times a year, but are happy that you are there on that day. The ones you have to watch out for are the ones who look at you walking in and whisper to the person beside them or are more concerned about the Easter Egg Hunt and taking pictures in their clothes than what the minister has to say.

Some may misunderstand what I’m about to say, but it’s not just about the death, burial and resurrection, but why and what it was all for.

What my man Frank of http://afrankangle.wordpress.com comments on Beyond Belief (Part 2) offered was a wise assessment of Christianity when he said “…being Christian is easy – very easy because the expectations are simple … it’s being human that makes it difficult as human nature and behaviors act in the self-interest that is contrary to Christian ideals.”

Those who honestly strive to live up to true Christian ideals are often blindsided by those who use Christianity as some anesthetizing sanctuary of being identified with the majority or what’s socially expedient at the time.

The church is not an entertainment center, a club or the place for a weekly fashion shows. It’s alright to dress your best, but who are you trying to impress? God is not concerned with what you have on the outside, but what’s in the inside. Who you are and not what you are?

So as you ponder what suit or dress to wear to church this Easter, think about what you’re projecting and more importantly what your actions are professing about what you believe.

References & Inspirations
Thoughts, Ideas & Suggestions – 04/08/09 “Beyond Belief (Part 2)
A Frank Angle – http://afrankangle.wordpress.com

a2a_linkname=”Thoughts, Ideas & Suggestions”;a2a_linkurl=”https://timvalentine.wordpress.com/2009/04/12/easter2009/”;a2a_num_services=20;

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7 thoughts on “My Easter Message

  1. Tim,
    First, and most importantly, Happy Easter to you, your family, and to your readers on this highest day in the Christian church.

    Secondly, I’m flattered that my words inspired your post … and thanks for the link.

    The EMCs exist. At least there is something within them that draws them back for certain occasions. Of course the hope is they will continue to return, but the real question is what is keeping them away? I’m sure that varies with everyone, but I have to wonder if the fraud of some is one of the reasons … the fraud you portray.

    I very much appreciate your advice of paying attention to those who pay attention to you. As a whole, greeting visitors isn’t well done by the flock – and the larger the church/service, the worse this generally is … hence an advantage of small.

    I like this post … as some may focus on the outfits & egg hunts in this post, I see it focusing on the goodness of the people who take time to notice … notice the newcomer, notice the visitor, and notice the EMC church goer.

  2. Hi Tim. I have several thoughts in my head that your post has sparked. Hmm, the E.M.C. Chiristians maybe more honest about their faith by attending church to honor Jesus’ birth and resurrection and their mother’s. The clothes thing is so right on. Maybe a white robe (or potato sack) given out at the church door would decrease the clothes competition. A BYOR (bring your own robe) idea wouldn’t work, because there would be those who’d order the most expensive robe or have it tailor-made. HA! And tomorrow, kids will hunt for eggs and not really know what Easter is about. I’ve noticed that several neighbors have visitors, so on this day, people are taking the time to visit family & friends. That in itself is a church day. Happy Easter to all.

    1. LOL Good points. Now you’ve given me an idea.

      I’m going to email you and a few others soon to ask a simple question concerning guest blogging on an issue. I hope you will consider it.

  3. Dear Tim,

    Thank you for sending me word about this Easter message. And I throw no Easter eggs! (Though in thought I send you an imaginary, “virtual” Cadbury Bunny chocolate egg — as tasty as your imagination can evoke, but with none of the calories!) (What’s up with that rabbit, anyway?)

    I think your Easter message is a lovely one, a beautiful reminder to Christians that they are ambassadors (not bouncers). Hope you and your family are having a blessed Easter.

    You and I were partisans in another context, but Easter reminds us that all people are created in the image of their Creator. To do some Biblical paraphrasing: in Christ there is neither Republican nor Democrat.

    God bless you and yours,

    Anns New Friend

    1. You see, I think when we begin to seek the image of God in others all of the things we were taught or thought about each other are proven wrong or inconclusive. We all have something in common with each other, it’s just being patient and willing enough to find out what it is. Our similarities are greater than our differences. I’m glad that you were so kind to consider what I had to say and comment. 🙂

  4. How could I throw eggs at you? I ate them all.
    Ate the Easter Bunny too. Don’t tell the kids, they’ll hate me forever.

    I used to attend First Pres three times a week. Now, since the Right Wingers from Elizabethton (those country club “Christians” you mentioned) infested the poor building it’s all I can do just to enter the parking lot to drop mom off.

    It’s a shame. Many of the signed, sealed and sanctified that still go there always greet me in the parking lot as I wait to pick mom up and they always mention how they understand.
    You see, I was the victim of a brood of Right Wing Republican liars and deceivers that didn’t want an old hippie Liberal to be a Deacon. Even with seven elders sponsoring and 145 votes in a 500 congregation.
    So they got their wish, I left in protest.

    But there I am, in the parking lot every Sunday. Watching them hide their shameful faces as they pass. Parking is such sweet sorrow.

    I will haunt their consciences once a week for the rest of their petty, self-serving lives.

    Jesus is Lord. Both in and outside church.
    Happy Easter.
    😉

    1. LOL

      You know one of my favorite stories from the Bible was when Jesus turned over the moneychangers tables. I like that, because it’s shows how gangsta Jesus was. (Please pardon my slang, but that’s just the best way I see to describe it. I mean gangsta in the Hip Hop definition of the term and not the actual meaning of a gangster.) Anyway, I think we would get alone well. Almost like the good cop/bad cop the only thing is which one of us would be who? 🙂

      Honestly I really do understand how you feel. I think many at my church understand why I told them that they really do not want me to be a Deacon, because I would make too many people uncomfortable, because I question and debate too many things that doesn’t sound fair, plus I knew they were only asking me, because I’m the pastor’s son. It wasn’t sincere.

      I have a few more coming up soon that I think you may enjoy. I’ll give you a heads up when they’re coming.

      I was banned from doing anything for Easter awhile ago, because I made the hunt too difficult. I hide the eggs so that you had to actually hunt for them. Nothing was out in the open except for a few eggs. Plus I made the point a few years ago regarding the calendar we know today isn’t the same as was during Biblical days, and caused an uproar about the validity of the timing of the event. Now I didn’t dispute the event happen, just the time we celebrate it does not line up with how it really happen. Needless to say no one like me for awhile, because they thought I was questioning Jesus and wouldn’t listen to me say that I believed that everything happen, just not the timing of it.

      Anyway, one day I’m going to get over there and we can make everyone mad just for fun. 🙂

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