Dear Cambridge Family & Friends,
As I begin this week I find myself in Ukrops, er, I mean Martins to do my banking at First Market, er, I mean Union Bank & Trust (I’m sure the Martins/Union people are fine folks, but I really miss that Ukrop family). Behind me, the displays are packed with all the trimmings of Easter. There are at least a half-dozen types of chocolate bunnies ranging from the ‘traditional’ hollow to a special dark chocolate bunny (for the health conscious I guess). And then there are at least as many types of Easter eggs. There are of course chocolate covered eggs, coconut eggs, ‘Gummy’ eggs (Yuck!), and even ‘Angry Bird’ eggs.
I have to hand it to the Hershey Company, who has created both Easter Eggs and Easter Bunnies made of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. There’s a plethora of colored Peeps (Double yuck!) and of course Jelly Beans (both gourmet and generic), which got me to thinking, “I wonder what brand President Reagan ate and did the Secret Service have to pre-consume a few of them ‘in the interest of national security.’” I actually didn’t see any of those malt filled speckled eggs (my favorite BTW, in case anyone wants to butter up…or sugar up the pastor). The display also featured Easter lilies, and thrown in for good measure was a ‘Gluten-Free’ Passover cake (I’m assuming it was also yeast free for the Celiac Children of Israel). Now I’m sure no one is surprised that nowhere amongst the retail Easter goodies were any signs of the Easter or Resurrection Day that the gazillion Christians around the world celebrate. I was hoping to at least find a chocolate cross (but again, remember it’s no longer Ukrops. Let it go, Win). I got to thinking, “Where could I go to see all the trimmings of Easter?” Well certainly churches of course. If you ride around Richmond, you’ll see some nice crosses soon to be draped in the purple shroud to indicate the death and resurrection of Jesus the ‘King’ (that’s why they’re purple BTW – as that is the traditional color of royalty).
Ironically, right beside a few of the crosses, are marquees announcing the dates for upcoming ‘Easter Egg Hunts,’ which is actually a pretty clever way to help children transition from bunnies to believers. I can also go to LifeWay or other Christian bookstores and see displays from the moment I pull into the parking lot as window displays proclaim the presence of Jesus, or at least a lot of cool Jesus stuff. Finally, I stood looking at the one place that seemed to have the most potential for attracting people who didn’t know Jesus, to consider his life-changing power and influence. That place was anywhere, any place, any room, that had a mirror.
Research and personal experience reveals that Holy Week, that is, the week that begins with Palm Sunday, includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and culminates with Easter Sunday, is one of the greatest times that folks are open to an invitation to church (Of course at Cambridge, Holy Week also includes our delicious Easter Ham Dinner and other Wednesday night Bible studies and children/youth activities).
This Holy week, I want to encourage you to invite a friend who either doesn’t know Jesus and/or has been struggling with their faith walk, family, kids, work, school and/or just life. I assure you, you are so much more important to the true celebration of Easter than any Easter egg, bunny, bean or Peep!
In Christ alone,
Pastor Win Davis