Yesterday was a special day. It was our anniversary…of sorts. Three years ago, yesterday, I was wheeled into surgery to remove a brain tumor. It is, ironically, a day of which I remember very little…yet it is a day that I will never forget and a day that redefined my life and relationships forever.
Our lifespans are each filled with many special days. Days of discovering a terrible illness, surgeries, births, deaths, and weddings. If that weren’t enough we often find ourselves commemorating these special days year-after-year. Yet, our lives are not only made up of “special days.” A birth of a child is special, sure, but so is the next day as you hold that child or watch a grandparent hold the child for the first time. A lost tooth, first crush, first day behind the wheel: these special days begin to grow together. We begin to realize that every moment of life is a celebration of that first breath and how we live our lives will give meaning when we come to our last breath.
The same is true of Christ. His Easter resurrection could not have been without the last breath of Good Friday. Good Friday’s meaning was amplified by a triumphant re-entry into Jerusalem which we celebrate as Palm Sunday. None of the events from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday could be celebrated without a small child born in a manger. But these special days would not have held so much meaning without the daily work of Christ: healing, loving and community building.
Too often, I think, we focus on Easter and Christmas to the detriment of Christ’s daily works. Christ’s life was not primarily about one or two days or moments. These special moments shaped our relationship with God, certainly. These days were pivotal in human history, absolutely. Yet, these times are inexorably tied to the daily life and acts of Jesus the Christ. These “special days” lack specialness without the daily work of the Messiah.
In fact we don’t have high holy days in the Christian tradition. Each Sunday is an equally important Holy Day because we remember not just a Jesus on a Cross but also a Jesus by a well in Samaria, healing a man at the pool of Bethsaida, raising Lazarus from the dead and calling fisherman from their nets by the sea. Each sunday celebrates the specialness of Jesus Christ on Earth: his birth, death & resurrection, of course, but also his life of love and message of peace & justice.
I pray that as we approach each new day of faith we would model our lives after Christ: living each day in pursuit of love, peace & justice. That we would strive, each day, for a closer relationship with God and celebrate that relationship week-after-week on Sunday mornings!