One Monday morning, I stopped at a drive-thru and bought my son a chicken biscuit. He was still young enough to be in a booster seat and after a moment of thinking about what he’d heard the day before in Sunday School said, “this biscuit makes me remember eating Jesus’ body.”
Finding Jesus in a chicken biscuit wasn’t exactly holy, yet it was a refreshing point that we should remember the sacrifice of the crucifixion in all we do, not just during formal communion at church. Just before the Easter story unfolded, when the Disciples gathered in the upper room, they were instructed to “do this in remembrance of me.” They weren’t given further instructions or specific directions, but were charged instead, with the task of remembering.
When my husband and I married and combined our two denominational backgrounds, we almost came to blows over where to attend church. The biggest sticking point was how they observed communion. Tiny plastic cups? Grape juice? Kneeling? Wine? Standing? Golden chalice? Sitting? Dipping or sipping? It drove us crazy, until we realized the things we argued about were man-made rules. Jesus didn’t say to call it the “Lord’s Supper” once a quarter or “Communion” once a week. He basically said, “Don’t forget what I’m about to do for you. Take action and remember.”
Easter is the giant day of remembrance and how we celebrate and honor the resurrection is as varied as how we take communion. Some of us will attend a familiar church, others will worship on mountaintops at sunrise or on beaches with guitars as the surf rolls in. Christians will “do this in remembrance of me” by breaking bread together in mega churches with video screens and gift shops, The Vatican in Rome, or even in homes with windows covered for fear of their government discovering them. Other Christians will find the strength to celebrate from a hospital bed or while they work overtime in order to feed their families.
We may have wildly different interpretations of scripture and argue fiercely with each other as well as with other congregations right down the street from us, but on Easter, all disharmony ceases, and we are united. It’s the day we celebrate the resurrection with all Christians around the world. It’s our holy day of purpose that defines who we are.
Just as our worship styles, and beliefs will vary, so will our hearts. Some will worship with gladness and joy while others will drag their weary, beat-up and broken hearts to worship against their will. Indifference, anger, jealousy and fear will all be represented as real-life Christians feel the pressures of the sinful world and will struggle to recharge through the words and music of the familiar Easter story. And at the end of the service, with all of our different approaches and motives, we’ll still remember Him and He’ll thankfully remember us.
As a child struggles to grasp the meaning of a broken body and the resurrection through a chicken biscuit, he correctly takes the story out of the church and personalizes and embraces it as his own — so we too must take the unifying lessons of forgiveness and hope out of the church and into the world, for a lifetime lived for Easter.
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