Easter!!! Another chance to celebrate a holiday. Another day many of us expect to spend with family, sharing laughs over another gluttonous spread of food. Some will partake in the regular attendance of a worship service, while others will attend one of their mandatory two services at a random church. Kids will hunt for baskets of gifts at home, then turn around and fill those very baskets with eggs found in a hunt at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Yes, Easter is filled with celebration aplenty.
Today as I traveled the streets of Cheyenne, I couldn't help but think about the double standard we have set in America. Yes, I know. You're probably tired of hearing about a so called double standard. All of us are bombarded by media (both right and left) pointing out a double standard in things. But, it hit me today that Easter is a paradox of holiday standards our society has set.
Name a holiday that is considered mostly sacred where the expectation is to relax and gather as a family. You guessed correctly. Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everyone is entitled to gather with family and relax on those two holidays. We as an American culture demand the time off to relax, enjoy the time away from everything related to work and fill our stomachs to our hearts content. If we find ourselves scheduled to work, our inclination is to raise hell to our bosses claiming an unfairness not found in other countries. We then look for any and every other profession that gets the day off and demand equal treatment. And if you are afforded these holidays off, you look for those professions that do open on these holidays so you can protest, complain and yell of injustices of those businesses by not being fair to their employees. Example: go back to Thanksgiving 2015 and how appalled the masses were when they found out Target, Kohl's and WalMart were going to be open Thanksgiving evening. Or how shocked you were to find out the movie theater was going to open Christmas evening. Be honest with yourself, you and the masses were outraged over these outlandish events with many an hour spent yearning for yesteryear.
Well, where is the outrage today? Why are we silent about companies being open on Easter? Why are we not calling for unity to boycott the businesses open on Easter? Well? Where? Yeah, that's what I thought. It's not something anyone wants to spend time on. Or is it the fact that if falls on a Sunday anyway, and most people have Sunday's off? Maybe it's because we want to gather as a family at a buffet for Easter Brunch and if places aren't open, then how do we do that? See the paradox now?
See, we as a society are all about convenience. It is convenient for us to protest about something one minute, yet not lift a finger the other because if we did we'd lose some of our precious traditions. Whats worse is that the very ones who don't complain about places being open on Easter are the ones that should be relaxing and celebrating more than most, and that those claiming to be christians celebrating the sacred holiday.
OUCH!!! I bet I just struck a nerve with many of you. Yeah, you the pastor, the Sunday School teacher, the board member. You are the ones that rightfully find disdain for companies open on Thanksgiving and Christmas yet expect your favorite dining establishment be open for you after a long day at work (because Sunday is just another day of work, right). Sure, you proclaim the triumph Christ has over sin and death, but then are disappointed when Target isn't open so you can get those Easter gifts for your kids at prices discounted enough to help make sales for the holiday.
Don't worry, I'm guilty too. I made a quick run to the office supply store to get some things printed. My wife ran to the neighborhood grocery store to get food for the work week. But, here's where my thinking lies. I didn't raise Cain about people working on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I'm not inclined to hold one holiday in higher regard than the other. I truly believe that these days are just the same as the next. Sure, I enjoy the time spent relaxing and sharing a meal with family as much as the next person. However, why should I do that on days that society tells me I should be doing it? If I believe what is in my Bible, then shouldn't I celebrate Christ's victory over death and sin every day, holiday or not? People in many professions don't have the option to have every holiday off, but they don't complain, and live these days just as the next - believer or not. And, if they can do it, then so can I. And if I can do it, then so can you.
So, explain to me again. Why isn't anyone upset that WalMart, TacoBell and Office Depot were open today, Easter Sunday?