“…’Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘He’s alive!'” – Acts 20:10
I got an email from a Christian company that is knee deep in its campaign to help churches prepare for its ever-important Easter service. This company promised to fulfill the church’s mission by providing the best literature, worship backgrounds, compelling banners, emotional vignettes and everything else to make the Easter service memorable. All of this is available, of course, for a nominal fee. Christian companies are not the only ones who are trying to profit from the season as any patron who walks into Walmart will notice, front and center, the aisles of candy, Easter eggs, baskets, outfits and anything accented in a pastel color for the would-be customer to purchase.
Make no mistake folks. Easter sells.
I wonder what Jesus thinks about all of this right now. The man endured inexplicable physical torture, false accusations, abandonment from his closest friends, separation from his father, all for many people who take his name in vain, live selfishly and only think of him when they are in trouble or a couple times a week.
Look, I am not opposed to companies who make a profit and I totally understand what they are trying to do. Yet, sometimes we (me included) divorce ourselves from the mission of Easter and are caught up in the consumerism of our society. We are sure to get our Instagram pic of our Easter outfits all the while our hearts are still dressed in our own selfishness.
What the companies cannot sell and what the stores cannot advertise is the resurrection that can happen in your life.
If Lent speaks anything to this world, it is a stiff-arm to the rapacious narrative of “me” so pervasive among us.
In Acts 20 a sleepy Eutychus has grown tired from Paul’s message. The NIV says Paul talked “on and on” (v. 9). Soon Eutychus fell asleep and the mishap caused him to fall out of the window and to his death.
We are a bit like Eutychus don’t you think? We are tired from hearing the resurrection every year (every Sunday…) and though we are alive many of us have fallen asleep.
Paul went down to Eutychus and the people were understandably concerned. I imagine the scene unfolding dramatically. Everything is normal until this man falls out of window and then there are screams from people. The sound of his body hitting the earth must have been excruciating to hear. Paul, in a very calm manner, says these words: “…‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘He’s alive!'” (Acts 20:10). It seems to be a weird story from outside looking in. Yet, in this Lenten season this story makes perfect sense to me.
We all have fallen asleep before but each of us have been revived. The word of God might be whispering to you right now, “He’s/She’s alive!” That is the encouragement you may very well need at this time. It is easy to desensitize ourselves from our mission when there is so much consumerism around us. But isn’t Easter still important? Isn’t resurrection still fundamental?
I think so.
Come alive friend.
May you come alive as we crawl our way to the cross.