50 Days of Easter: Opening Day and Easter

50 Days of Easter: Opening Day and Easter

This post won’t surprise anyone who knows me.

On Monday, I took the day off work and took my two boys to Opening Day.  This really should be a national holiday—I don’t know why this issue hasn’t come up in any of the presidential debates yet.  We tailgated with Chic-fil-a in the back of the minivan, we crammed into our seats, we cracked peanuts, we made potty trips, and we left after the seventh-inning stretch to the sounds of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”  My Texas Rangers managed exactly one hit and yet, somehow, still won the game.

I loved every minute of it.

Sometimes I’m a little neurotic about my baseball fandom.  I think most people have their own thing that captivates their imagination.  The danger is obvious—it’s easy to turn simple interests into idols.  I have to stop myself from obsessively checking for news updates, from spending too much money on tickets, from allowing what should be a nice hobby to dominate my attention.

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So what does this have to do with Easter?

Lent teaches us to discipline our desires, to confess how we have gotten our priorities out of whack.  Easter gives meaning to that time of confession and fasting.  Easter extols the single most important event in history—the death and resurrection of Jesus.  The son of God died an innocent man and then was raised to life again.  If that isn’t your front page headline every day, something’s gone wrong.

The reality of the resurrection doesn’t take away everything else we care about.  Just the opposite.  It should endow everything we do with a new vibrancy and joy that wasn’t there before.  When Christ and his kingdom come first, everything else falls into its rightful place.

Because of the resurrection, my hobby doesn’t have to be my obsession—I’m not asking it to be anything more than a game.  And the resurrection transforms how I think about more important parts of my life.  My wife isn’t the only way I know I’m loved, my kids aren’t the only reason I wake up in the morning, my job isn’t the only way I’ll leave my mark on the world.  As C.S. Lewis puts it in The Great Divorce:  “Every natural love will rise again and live forever in [God’s kingdom]; but none will rise again until it has been buried.”

When the resurrection is front and center in our lives, our other loves aren’t competing with Christ for attention and devotion, but instead they become signposts that point us toward Christ’s love and his goodness.  Suddenly, resurrection reality is springing up everywhere.  The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins put it like this:  “Christ plays in ten thousand places.”

For me, the ballpark is certainly one of those “ten thousand places” to celebrate the new life made possible by the resurrection.  This Easter, tune your hearts to see and sing the grace of Christ everywhere you go.

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