In some ways Easter is not like Christmas. The Christmas story tends to remain largely unmentioned for eleven months of the year. So when the advent season comes round again people expect to hear the basic Christmas story. But the events of the first Easter get mentioned and preached on throughout the year. So there is a temptation for us as preachers to try and get clever with our Easter messages – perhaps hyper-creative, or super-subtle, or whatever.
Our regular listeners need to hear the basic Easter story. Jesus told his followers to share bread and wine, “in remembrance” of Him. In a sense the Easter story never grows old for Christ’s followers – it means too much to us. So as a preacher don’t feel pressure from somewhere to say something that is somehow clever or different. There are plenty of biblical passages that can be used, and people will appreciate a clear preaching of any of them.
Remember that irregular listeners need to hear the basic Easter story. At Easter time there is a higher likelihood of visitors. Maybe they feel they should go to church at Christmas and again at Easter. Maybe they are visiting family who go to your church and politely join their hosts. These people don’t need some kind of creatively opaque and nuanced message. They need the message of the text clearly presented and applied.
As a preacher you may be feeling the pressure to do something different this year. I’m not suggesting we should be boring or predictable. I’m not saying that creativity is inappropriate. Let us be as effective as possible in our communication of the biblical message of Easter. However, let’s remember that sometimes it is very effective to simply preach the basics – the story from the text, the implications for us today.