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FAITH: Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music

Karen Stevens

Three Dog Night has a song called “Celebrate” and most of the lyrics are “celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music”.  Even though this is a secular song, it reminds me of Easter – to celebrate the forgiveness of my sins.  That thought makes me want to dance.

Easter is one of those holidays that has been distorted into something else over time, like Christmas.  We celebrate Easter with new cloths, dying eggs, food, etc.

If you are searching for the word “Easter” you can find it in the King James Bible in only one place; Acts 12:1-4. “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.  And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.”

Any other translation other than King James, will use the word “Passover”.  The word Easter translates from “Pesach” or as we know it – “Passover”.

When I think of “Passover”, I think of when God had the angels pass over the houses that had the blood on the door post.

Jewish people today have a holiday called “seder” which means “order”.  The main thing about the holiday to them, is no eating food that uses leavening that comes in breads, pasta, etc., which is what God told them to do, – put blood on the door post and don’t put any yeast in their bread.

We as Gentile Christians think of Easter as in the day Jesus arose from the grave after three days.  Which I’m unsure how that came about, other than the Passover holiday was really close, or in the middle of, when Jesus died and rose again.  Or people could have connected the dots that the Angels passed over the door post that had blood on them, and Jesus shed His blood, so therefore calling it Easter, or Passover.

It doesn’t matter what it is called, when we celebrate Easter; it is our way of honoring the sacrifice that Jesus did, by dying on the cross for our sins.  If we are just celebrating the holiday with new cloths, great food and hiding Easter eggs, then we might want to rethink what it represents to us.  I know my two-year-old Grandson only understands the candy, eggs, etc., but it’s important we work Christ into that scenario somehow, so they will grow up knowing the truth.

We can read the Easter story to them throughout the day, or just have a casual conversation about who Jesus was and what He did some 2000 years ago.

I watch Jeopardy a lot, and it amazes me how smart those contestants are, but when it comes to a Christian religious category, they don’t seem to know.  I was watching Jeopardy one day, and the question was “What did Judas sell Jesus out for”?  The answer is 30 pieces of silver.  It seems like everyone should know that answer even if you’re not a Christian, but out of the three contestants, not one of them buzzed in to answer.

The stories I learned growing up in church are priceless to me.  I know that Jesus conquered death, and the best thing about that is, He will throw Satan into hell one day.

Revelation 1:18 – “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death.”

And then in Revelation 20: 1-3  “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven. He had in his hand a key to the hole without a bottom. He also had a strong chain. He took hold of the dragon, that old snake, who is the Devil, or Satan, and chained him for 1,000 years. The angel threw the devil into the hole without a bottom. He shut it and locked him in it.”

Praise God for sending His son to die and conquer hell, so we can celebrate and dance to the music!  Happy Easter Orange County!

Karen Y. Stevens, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels