Saturday, March 5, 2016
Today I bumped into a quote I had written perhaps more than a month ago and it stopped me short as the truth of it hit me again. “All Israel rejoices today, except for those who don't.”
This quote is from a fictional character caught up in the rejoicing over the celebration of the expected Savior. She was a wise Jewish mother in the town of Bethlehem at the time when Jesus was due to be born. But her excited exclamation can refer to anytime that we celebrate our God and our Lord: “Some do, and some don't.”
At this time of Easter, which used to be a country wide celebration, there are a multitude of people objecting to the day even being on the calendar, let alone being celebrated. Some Christians celebrate Palm Sunday; some Christians don't. Some Christians celebrate Good Friday; some don't. Some Christians get up early and go to Sunrise Services; some don't. Some Christians go to church on Easter Sunday, even though they never go there at any other time; some don't go even then.
And, then, there are those Christians and non-Christians who celebrate the day with the hiding and hunting of eggs and toys; a totally unrelated social experience that helps explain why it is a holiday to those who do not believe in the Resurrection of Christ.
The point is that “All Christendom rejoices on this day, except for those who don't.” We are not alone in our rejoicing and it goes on for 24 hours as the world turns and Sunday morning comes in places around the world.
We cannot force the world to rejoice with us. We cannot even force other Christians to rejoice with us. And we need to stop letting this truism frustrate, irritate, or anger us. We need to settle into celebrating to the max and letting those who “don't,” don't. In God's way of handling things, the “don'ts” have a purpose. It is He who will bring about His Own Glory, in His own way.
Meanwhile, we need to let our celebrating be known and to stand up for what we believe by doing, not by complaining.
This is a great time to start taking back our religious freedoms by simply doing what they say we cannot do: that is to casually bow our heads in prayer wherever we are and whatever we are doing. That alone will begin to bring about change in our lives and in the lives of others for whom we are praying.
Perhaps Good Friday at 3:00 would be a good time to start? Stop and thank God for the blood that was shed for your salvation and the pain that Jesus was willing to bare for our sake. Think about it.
Then we can move on to bigger issues that arise all around us; perhaps one at a time, as need be.
May God and His Wisdom be with us as we seek to live for Him.