Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Is Easter To You?

Matthew 28:5–6

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

112015 Ray McDonaldIn reading an article on Barna.org titled Most Americans Consider Easter a Religious Holiday, But Fewer Correctly Identify its Meaning a few years ago I came across some interesting findings.  Below is some quoted material from that article.

Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday?
The types of Americans who were most likely to express some type of theistic religious connection with Easter were evangelicals (93%), attenders of large churches (86% among those whose congregation has 500-plus adult attenders), born again Christians (81%), and weekly churchgoers (77%).

Republicans (77%) and Democrats (71%) were more likely than were independents (59%) and non-registered citizens (51%) to say Easter has religious meaning for them.

In terms of age, members of the Boomer generation (73%, ages 45 to 63) were among the most likely to describe Easter as a religious holiday for them, compared with two-thirds of Elders (66% of those ages 64-plus) and Busters (66%, ages 26 to 44). The youngest adult generation, the Mosaics (ages 18 to 25), were the least likely age segment to say Easter is a religious holiday (58%), reflecting the increasingly secular mindset of young adults.

Other population segments describing Easter with a non-religious bent were faith groups other than Christianity (just 31% said Easter’s meaning is religious), atheists and agnostics (36%), and unchurched adults (46%).

Is Easter losing its meaning to our community and society?  Has the church – the people of God – failed in celebrating and remembering Easter that the Mosaic generation – (ages 18-25) – is almost split in their understanding of Easter?

What do we teach our children?  How do we remember Easter?  What do we say about Easter?

Here are some more interesting facts from the study.

Resurrection Views
Those who identify Easter explicitly as a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus were most likely to be evangelicals (73%), large church attenders (60%), born again Christians (55%), active churchgoers (54%), upscale adults (54%), and Protestants (51%).

Showing a perceptual gap between political conservatives and liberals, those on the political “right” were nearly twice as likely as those on the political “left” to say that Easter is a celebration of the resurrection (53% versus 29%, respectively).

In terms of the audience that most Christian churches attempt to attract on Easter weekend – non-churchgoing adults – the research shows that while 46% of unchurched adults view the meaning of Easter to be religious, while just 25% connect the holiday to Jesus’ return to life.

As for denominational affiliation, most Catholics said they celebrate Easter as a religious holiday (65%). Still, just one-third of Catholics listed the resurrection as the meaning of the holiday (37%). In comparison, Protestants were more likely than Catholics both to view Easter as a religious holiday and to connect the occasion to Jesus’ awakening from death (78% and 51%, respectively).

What do you say?  Easter is just two weeks away.  What does it mean to us and how will our children remember it?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way?

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March 13, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , ,

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