Does Attending Church on Easter Mean Anything?

It is Easter and two days ago was Good Friday. The question for the individual is this: Are those two days just yearly events on my calendar? Or have those two history changing events become life-changing events in my heart?

Christianity was never intended to be merely a religious series of special celebrations a few times a year. The essence of Christianity is a personal and daily walk with the Master. Those who follow Christ do so everyday. Just like when He walked on this earth, Jesus continues pressing forward today. You can keep up with Him, or choose to fall far behind.

A relationship with Jesus is very much like marriage. A healthy marriage requires constant communication, sharing, love, attention, forgiveness, assistance, encouragement, honesty, and fellowship. What if a couple only celebrated their anniversary date, but didn't do much else together during the rest of the year? Their "marriage" would seem like a sham. The same thing applies to Christianity.

The question for the individual this Easter is not whether or not the Lord wants me to attend worship services even if I rarely attend church the rest of the year. His arms are always open. The question is this: Do I want a "relationship" with Him that is like a "marriage" where the couple only celebrates on their anniversary? Or do I want to live an authentic Christian life with Jesus everyday so that He will know that I really do love Him and trust HIm? His action on the cross revealed His love for me. My actions reveal whether or not I love Him.

Jesus definitely rose from the grave, but has my spirit been raised to new life....or do I remain spiritually dead in spite of my religious observances? Am I born again through faith in Christ? If I am born again, I will be drawn daily to love Him with my life and I will be drawn weekly to worship Him with other believers. If I have little or no interest in growing in my faith every week with other Christians, that is a strong indicator that I may very well not be born again. When Jesus truly comes to live within a person, it changes everything. My motives. My decisions. My priorities. My relationships. No change equals no new birth.

The fact is that some marriages are on life support. Likewise, some professing Christians are only kidding themselves. It could happen to any of us if we just went through the motions. The minute I begin to neglect my marriage or my relationship with Christ is the minute I begin to drift into "no man's land." Minutes of neglect turn into hours and eventually weeks and months of neglect. By the time you wake up to what is going on, the relationship is already nonexistent. That doesn't have to happen to you or to me. After all, Easter is almost here. What a perfect time to give my life to Christ for the first time, or to rededicate my life to Him and seek to restore my first love with Him....and with my spouse too if I am married.

So are Good Friday and Easter just dates on my calendar? Or do they thrill my soul everyday and each week as I worship with God's family to praise His name? Those are critical questions for anyone who checks the "Christian" box on those forms which ask us to indicate our religion.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

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