As an extension of Wednesday’s giveaway of Scott MacIntyre’s book, “By Faith, Not By Sight,” every comment and tweet on this post will also enter you to win!
The Sunday after Easter, always kind of a downer.
Last week, churches everywhere gave away tons of candy, toys, iPads, cars, and other stuff to try to lure people to church. And hopefully, the gospel was preached. Maybe you attend one of these churches. Maybe not. Maybe you stayed home on Easter to avoid the crowds.
Easter is kind of a sacred cow. Churches insist it’s the most important day of the year to attract visitors. It’s like the Christian version of Black Friday. So churches are willing to put on incredible door-buster deals.
…And then we wonder why everyone is so materialistic.
We shouldn’t be surprised. The most sacred of holidays has come to reflect that fact that almost all of us don’t really care that much about Jesus. Even Christians would rather have candy.
What’s In It For Me?
We live in a “what’s in it for me” world.
People are always looking out for number one, trying to get what they’ve got coming to them, what they deserve. We don’t like to admit it. But I will admit it. I spend a good deal of time thinking about how my job doesn’t pay me enough. I’m worth more. I deserve more. What’s in it for me to do a great job?
And we live in a world of entitlement. Maybe you’ve noticed that. Everyone’s got their hand out, waiting for someone else to recognize how awesome and deserving they are.
Little wonder we have to bribe people to come to church. We have to put up some pretty big incentives to get people off their butts. And this Sunday, with no free candy or door prizes, or any other immediate incentives, most of those people will consider going to church, and then think, “But what’s in it for me?”
I’d Rather Have Candy
We shouldn’t be surprised by this. It’s not like the people sitting at home are more carnal or less holy than those of us who go to church on Sundays. You and I are the same as they are. We bring that same “What’s in it for me?” attitude to Jesus every day.
Jesus says, “Follow,” and we hold our hands up and ask, “What’s in it for me?”
Jesus says, “Be my disciple,” and we say, “Sure thing, Lord. What kind of benefits package comes with that job?”
Jesus says, “I died on the cross for your sins. I’m giving you the free gift of grace,” and we respond, “But Jesus, I’m not planning on dying for a while. What can you give me now?” If we’re going to do Jesus the favor of being his disciples, we expect a big payout of blessings.
Most of us just don’t give much a crap about eternal salvation.
We’d rather have candy.
Jesus or Free Crap
So, we take the most important holiday of the Christian year, and we take the most important thing we can talk about, and we say to the world, “Yeah, there’s this guy Jesus who rose from the dead, but not in a zombie kind of way. But we know that’s not really interesting, so here’s some free crap!”
I wonder if Jesus was sitting in the garden, and God’s telling him what he has to do, and Jesus said back, “But God, what are these sinners I’m supposed to die for going to do for me?” And God said, “They’ll put you on bumper stickers and T-shirts, commemorate your resurrection with a giant rodent, and act like they’re doing you a favor by calling themselves ‘Christians.’”
If we want to say that the gospel should be enough to attract people, it has to start with us acting like it’s enough for us. Even if Jesus never gives us blessings or free T-shirts or makes our lives easy.
What do you think? Did your church do an Easter giveaway blowout? Is it all worth it? Or does it just reinforce materialism and show our own materialism?