If your life is anything like mine, you are getting reminded of something all the time. There is the vinyl sticker in the top left corner of the windshield reminding you to get an oil change. There’s the phone message from the doctor’s office reminding you of the appointment you have in a few days. The children are reminding you that they need that book for class, that ride to practice or that deposit for the trip. You read text messages reminding you to pick up the prescription at the pharmacy and milk at the supermarket.
Last week I was at a meeting with what my children affectionately call ‘my pastor buddies’ when Stan read the following reminder:
“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve….” 1 Corinthians 15:1–5 (NIV)
We can get busy around this time of the year – spring cleaning, tax deadlines, proms, church programs and family gatherings – and before we know it all our time is gone and the things that matter get pushed aside for the things that are necessary. As a result, the once important remembrances, like Easter, are disregarded and replaced with tokens of affection like chocolate bunnies, colored eggs and florescent-hued marshmallow chicks.
At the risk of becoming just another reminder amidst the many other reminders your tablet, computer, laptop, calendar and phone are supplying, let me remind you to go to church next Sunday. Allow this post to remind you of what is of primary importance: that Jesus died for your sins (and mine) and was buried; on the third day after his burial he was raised from the dead and proceeded to appear to over five hundred people over the span of forty days. There are plenty of excuses people give for staying away from the church – many of them valid – but allow these words to be your reason for coming to church: God loves you and gave his one and only Son that you may believe in him and not perish but have eternal life.
Easter is, as Paul reminds us, a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin, death and Satan. Easter is the essence of the gospel: He lived among us, He died for us, He rose in front of us, and He appeared to us. Easter celebrates that sin cannot condemn the believer and death cannot confine the believer. Easter celebrates the love, peace, joy, grace, mercy and forgiveness afforded us in the life, death and resurrection of our Savior. So, put it on your calendar and set it on your phone – Go to church on Sunday and celebrate the good news of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.