How Do We Worship on Easter?

How Do We Worship on Easter?

by | Mar 26, 2023 | Church, Easter, Worship

In less than a month, we will be celebrating Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I didn’t grow up with a strong Christian foundation. I’d overhear comments at church about special days, services, terms, and theology and wonder about their significance. What is Lent? Or Ash Wednesday? Or Palm Sunday? Or Holy Week? What should I do…or not do during this season? You might have similar questions and wonder if it matters.

For example, what are liturgical and non-liturgical churches? Liturgical churches are identified as having a standardized order of events, whether throughout the year or within a worship service. Such churches might follow the Christian calendar and have daily readings, special meals and services, and extended times of spiritual observance. Two benefits of this style might be consistency of worship across churches of that denomination as well as ingraining faith habits and language. Drawbacks might be when the ingraining misses the heart or lacks explanation and purpose.

By contrast, Hope is classified as a non-liturgical church. A couple benefits might be the freedom to orchestrate events as local leaders deem valuable and narrowing down Christian tradition to only the most consequential elements of the faith. Drawbacks might be lacking connection to the broader church and the history associated therein.

Why might this matter? Like I said last year, it might not because there’s freedom. Some churches appreciate and seek out traditions. Others do not. Some hold special services. Others do not. So, in one sense, it might matter little beyond stylistic differences or personal preferences.

But why might this be significant? It might matter at a foundational level. Consider this: The word “liturgy” literally means “work for the people” or “public service”. This referred to how wealthy Greeks gave offerings in service of others. So, liturgy was that act whereby the rich carried a financial burden and were correspondingly rewarded with honor. My question for you: within Christian theology, who is the rich person in this scenario?

If you are the rich person, then it is your liturgy or sacred action (such as service attendance, prayer, tithing, fasting, sacrificing, etc.) that results in God’s blessing. But that’s not biblical Christianity. That’s religion and many religions believe sacred actions by worshippers obligate the deit-y(-ies) to honor and bless them.

Christianity, on the other hand, sees the liturgy or sacred action of one, Jesus Christ, as being rewarded with highest honor. What was that sacred action? Going to the cross. In his crucifixion, he carried the burden we were incapable of shouldering. Consequently, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11). The death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus is biblical Christianity.

Back now to us, in this season (whether you call it Lent or Easter or Holy Week or something else), are you focused on what you are or could be or feel you should be doing for God? Or is it more about what he has done for you, what he has done for us? That matters big time! Friends, we get to acknowledge what he has done, that he alone is Savior and Lord! It is our (only!) strong Christian foundation.

You might still be wondering, “Yeah, okay, but is there a specific way in this season that I should be worshipping Jesus?” Focus less on the first part of that question and more on the last part––worship Jesus. Look to the cross. Consider his crucifixion. See his sacred action. Gaze upon his body whipped, hands pierced, blood shed. Consider what he shouldered. Let Christ crucified become greater.

And resist your human urge to add to it. Resist the feeling, even if directed by a church or leader, to make this season about what you do or how you must worship. Instead, again and again, turn to Jesus of whom it was said––Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! He is risen!!

If you have more questions about Lent, Easter, Holy Week, or anything else connected to the Christian faith, do not hesitate to reach out to me. If you’d like to talk more with an individual who grew up in a liturgical tradition (e.g. Catholic, Lutheran), a number of Hopesters have made themselves available to talk with you. Let me know and I can connect you.

If you’d like to do some more learning and exploring on your own, please consult some of the links below.

Other uncommon phrases used during the Easter season

If Jesus were to speak to you directly this Easter it might sound like this

7 Accessible Ways to Connect with Jesus this Easter season

4 Compelling Reasons to Believe the Resurrection Actually Happened

I’ll put in my recommendation to watch The Chosen



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