Friday, April 22, 2011

How I Spent My Easter Vacation

I would love for this to be a really cohesive, articulate post on my thoughts on Easter, the church calendar, hatching chicks, the Resurrection of Christ, and chocolate bunnies. Because my head may be visibly bulging as these thoughts bounce around in there, it will unfortunately fall quite short of that. I can't get a firm enough hold on any of my thoughts long enough to know what category to put them in. I'm hoping that writing some of this down will help me, I guess? I want to dwell richly on all that Christ came near to accomplish. I want to enjoy fun traditions with my children, too. And Lord knows I want any excuse to buy matching seersucker outfits for the little guys. But I don't feel right about doing any of this.

"Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again." This is our assurance as believers. This is huge. If any part of that confession were not true, then the whole thing would be worthless. But it is true. And it is glorious! And it is a precious doctrine that we should immerse ourselves in because within it lies immeasurable comfort and hope and security and joy. So if "celebrating Easter" means doing just that, then I'm in.

But in our culture, "celebrating Easter" may include, but is definitely not limited to, those things. There are countless other symbols and ideas that accompany Easter that have nothing to do with the life and death of Jesus. (Not that clever marketers haven't done their level best to change that--Resurrection eggs anyone? Kill me now.) Easter means we get to do LOTS of things...wear pretty new dresses and get candy in our baskets AND meditate on Christ's substitutionary death on the cross and his subsequent victory over death, hell and the grave. Whew! Now that's a lot for one Sunday afternoon.

If it was purely a time where we donned our pastels, hunted for some eggs that a large rabbit hid, and made ourselves sick on Peeps in honor of the coming of Spring or our taxes being filed or some other agreed upon happy occasion, then I'm good. Toss me the ears from your chocolate bunny. But we try to do both. Well, not really try--we do both. We do all of these things that have nothing to do with what we claim to be celebrating and this is why I struggle. Because it creates anomalies like Resurrection eggs. We want to take part in the cultural celebrations but we also want to honor Christ. So we have this weird bastard child of a holiday that combines crosses and Cadbury creme eggs. Shouldn't we pick a focus?

This is all magnified even more to me now that I am a parent. Kris and I are constantly explaining new concepts to these little people who live in our house and that have very limited prior knowledge, vocabulary skills, and attention spans. Weekends like this present particular challenges because there are so many ideas floating around. My inclination is to let it all pass by. Not discuss the resurrection this Sunday nor the cultural traditions that take place. Because one clearly has nothing to do with the other but they are happening together prompting our young pupils to connect the two.

They know God made them. They know this one God exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They know that God the Son became man and came to this earth. We have told them about Jesus dying in our place--receiving God's wrath on our behalf. We have told them He did not stay dead, but was made alive again. We aren't expecting perfect comprehension and internalization at this point. We are discipling, which is a life-long process. But on a weekend where the church turns its particular attention to this aspect of theology, I find all the other crap on sale at Target right now incredibly confusing for them and irritating for me.

It's Easter weekend, so says the church calendar. I guess the thing about the Church calendar is that it is a tool. And tools can be useful for some jobs, but not for others. According to the church calendar, this weekend we are to think on the crucifixion of Christ (Good Friday) and the resurrection of Christ (Easter Sunday.) But I find it more helpful, in light of where we are at this point in our culture and history, to think of each Sunday, when believers gather, to celebrate Christ's tremendous work on behalf of his Church.

So where am at right now? Well, we're going to gather with other believers tonight and spend time thinking about and praising God for the cross and all that that entails. But I'm not going because it's Good Friday. I'm going because I want to be with other believers whom I love dearly and I want to worship with them and I want to corporately confess to God our gratitude and praise. I would want to do this any Friday night.

On Saturday, we are getting together with our family. We'll share a meal. There will probably not be a lot of discussion of the crucifixion or the resurrection or what went on the day in between (wouldn't that be fun to talk about over deviled eggs?) So I'm not sure what our point in gathering is exactly other than we love them and like spending time with them. I would want to do this any Saturday afternoon.

But then there's the egg thing. Nothing sinful at all about searching for plastic eggs (although I refuse to tell them a magical bunny hides them. Despite all my uncertainty and angst about many things, I feel I can safely declare that LYING to your kids should be avoided.) I guess I can look at it as this is the game we're playing this time. Sometimes we get a bouncy house. Sometimes we play at the park. This Saturday, the game de jour is egg-hunting. Ok. I guess there's no need to have a theological sit-down over that anymore than I would if they were about to play kickball with their cousins.

Then Sunday morning, we are going to my parent's church. We don't normally do this so I guess I will have to concede that we are doing this because it's Easter. But I love the believers at Reformed Presbyterian Church and would be beyond thrilled to gather with them any Sunday of the year. We'll sing, pray, confess, and hear God's word. I'll hug some necks (one of my very favorite Southern expressions) and introduce Simeon to them. I would want to do this any Sunday morning.

We are gathering Sunday--this Sunday, next Sunday, every Sunday--because Jesus did not stay dead. So I could think about it more this week. Or I could think about it a lot next week. Or I could think about it some every week. It's the air we breathe. I am dependent on it regardless.

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again. This much, I am sure of.

(I welcome your feedback, questions, and criticisms as I continue to work through all of this.)


Kimberly said...

Jamie we did He is Risen to visualize what bastard blending here and we do a red dot on the hand with their name on it before Good Friday Service. Kids loved the He is Risen Rolls so much they decided to forever nix dying eggs..I always hated it...what to do with 3 dozen eggs.

Laura said...

Jamie, Charlton and I just agreed that you are by far the most anti-holiday person we have ever met. We are formulating a response. By the way we are making it part of our holiday tradition to read your most recent anti- holiday screed every time a holiday comes around.

KathyLittle said...

I feel ya. I have no answers. We try to keep it simple.

Laura said...

You are one of my closest friends. You are way up there on my BFF list. This position somewhat entitles me to say the following: lighten up! Seriously. How can one person be so down on every holiday. In my opinion, your thoughts are not cohesive in this point because you are trying to fight this battle on two fronts: theological and cultural. I believe that my husband is going to respond regarding the first so I will mostly address the second. I agree hands down that we have created a consumer driven side to this (and every) holiday. It is very distracting, but that doesn't mean that we get rid of holiday celebrations altogether because marketing companies have a field day with it. I kind of get that this is the conclusion that you are drawing- getting rid of holidays completely. If you do, then I respect that it's your decision to make for your family but I also think that it is a shame and unnecessary. Your job as a parent is to sift through the distractions of the world and give your children explanations for the things we do in life not just by fault avoid them. If you told Steven that a life-size bunny hides eggs full of candy for him to find, he would laugh or think it's a silly game you are playing or a story you read in a silly book. We hunt Easter eggs every year but we have never told Steven that a bunny hides them. We have told him that some people do like to pretend about the bunny who hides eggs but that it's not true just a silly story. It is fun to have easter egg hunts though so we do them- just for fun not because it's somehow symbolic. Yes, it is mostly at Easter; however, we did hunt eggs at Steven's birthday party one year because it is a fun game like other birthday games we traditionally play. Pin the tail on the donkey, anyone? Do we ever play that game anywhere beside birthday parties. There are games we specifically play at certain holidays. We think that it is harmless because it is not the focus just something fun for family time.

Laura said...

(cont) You can not ignore that your children will be exposed to the Easter Bunny and Santa because everyone else is doing it. That's the annoying thing about living on a planet with other people. The only other option is to completely retreat from the world- which I feel like this weekend you might mutter under your breath "I wish"- but I know you don't want to really do that. The bible speaks pretty clearly on that point too. We use holidays as a time for our family to focus on what the meaning of Christ's birth or (this weekend) His resurection or being thankful for the bountiful blessings that God has given us. It is a special time that we set aside to focus especially on that, because we're human and sinful and if we think that we'll just do that every week then we're mistaken because we'll forget or it will become old hat. "Oh yeah, he died and rose again, pretty cool" and then we'll get distracted my our child's sudden meltdown during the quiet part of the service. Not that we sinners ever take anything for granted either. Our family has been reading scripture and preparing our hearts for weeks because of the holiday in two days. Maybe you are always doing that- always remembering his resurrection. Yes, we are celebrating it every Sunday but I need to be reminded, refocused because we get distracted by life and I don't mean the little plastic toys in the checkout. I know that I have in no way persuaded you otherwise, but stop bumming everyone out. Please. There are a few of us that are trying to celebrate Christ in a special way this weekend. And now that I have said my peace, I am going to relax with my husband and read a book- a novel- that's totally fiction- just because it's fun- and because I've had a long day hunting eggs with my children in matching pastel outfits at my in-laws house where they were spoiled with ridiculous amounts of candy and attention. And I'm going to sleep fine tonight. Did you hear me say at the beginning that I love you? =)

Jamie R. said...

Laura--first of all--you absolutely do get to say just about anything to me. a) I requested feedback b) I love you dearly, too. :)

But I think you are completely missing my point.

I'm not trying to hide from cultural traditions. Yes, my kids talk about Santa and the EB and I definitely have no intentions of avoiding all of that. They know they are made up just like Mickey or Thomas the Train and are fun, but not real. I stated--hunt eggs! eat all the jellybeans you want! go for it--embrace these cultural traditions to whatever extent you want to. My problem is not with that. My problem is with the intermingling of the two. My struggle lies in the peaceful, convenient coexsistence of both. On the same day.

I think if you want to spend a particular amount of time in special reflection on any aspect of Scripture, you totally should. Of course it is appropriate to do so.

I actually don't hate holidays. I hate syncretism. And it is so easy to go there. My point is I feel we need to decide what we are going to do and do it. If we are having a day where we do fun cultural things, then let's just do that to the glory of God of course. but this multi-tasking business seems risky to me.

Cheryl said...
I can see where you're coming from, Jamie. And I can see what Laura is saying.
The multi-tasking is risky business. It drives me crazy that bunnies and eggs dominate the landscape of the holiday. But I think Laura is right, it's our job as parents to navigate through those things faithfully for our children. We teach our children why we celebrate Easter is the same reason why we celebrate every Sunday. Since we teach them the gospel everyday in one way or another, I think it will get easier for them to sift through all the commercialism. And even though you might take issue with the Church calendar telling you this weekend is when we celebrate the Resurrection, it is invaluable the amount of "press" Jesus gets during this time. People stop and take notice. It's one more time someone may hear the gospel. It's pretty amazing when you think about it. The Enemy certainly works through the commercialism to steer eyes and hearts from the Risen Savior, but who knows how many hearts have been stirred during Easter? Our family can be a light in a dark egg infested landscape.
These are not my complete thoughts but I wanted to get in on the conversation.
Jamie, you challenge. You struggle. And I love you for it.

Brad and Carrie said...


Brad and I have had this exact conversation. We feel like we've become holiday downers. I feel like we need to air on the side of stripping things away too. I know that most people will disagree with me, but I think we have to separate ourselves. If you are going to do an egg hunt, maybe do it on the Thursday before or the week after. Then, you can have fun, but in no way is it associated with Easter.

I think that when Christians stay on auto pilot and don't think through holidays, we loose our impact in the world. Sometimes we are called to awkward and outcasts.

I've blogged and ranted on this in regards to Christmas. I say, pack up the family and celebrate this Christmas in China! :) I LOVE Christian holidays when we are here. I get to celebrate how ever the heck I want.

Cheryl said...

I appreciate your response, Carrie. Great conversation, Jamie!!

Tricia said...

Yay! Cannot wait to see you Sunday! Glad to not be the only odd duck in this case.

We as a world is more focused on a fun holiday traditions, but isn't God's word and truth more important? God's tells us that we should be teaching God's word "diligently... when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deuterotomy 6:6-7

How many of you focus more on the holiday than teaching our salvation through Jesus every day? Do you read God's word to your children every morning, or while they are in school, working on homework when back from school, at the the sport or dance event you go to with your kids in the afternoon, or family worship in the evening? We are a far cry from doing what God wants us to do... I am not bashing sports, or any extra curricular activity, as long as it is in the right place... Whether you may or may not center Christ as the main event for the holiday, is God the "main event" in your life or just when a fun holiday shows up.

What are we teaching our children? I am not trying to bash anyone... This is coming from a family that just started family worship only two years ago, and began working on memory verses with the kids in the morning only a few months ago. Our oldest is six... Sorry, I do not have time to go through being in, but not of the world, or being luke warm...

Charlton said...

Here is my attempt at untangling all of the practices that you are railing against in this post. I see at least the following: (1) consumerism, (2) observing the church calendar, (3) “lying” to your kids, and (4) what you call “syncretism” (which appears to be the crux of the problem—at least in this post). I’ll address them one at a time.

(1) Our overly-consumerist culture is bad for our souls. Let Target keep the plastic crap. We need to learn to be content with less stuff, and teach our kids to do the same (no matter what time of year it is). Agreed.

(2) Your problems with the church calendar are separate from your problems with consumerism and pseudo-syncretism. From previous discussions, I know this is a Regulative Principle issue. There is not much more I can say on this point, except to again suggest that the Regulative Principle itself is not biblical. I would argue that the Regulative Principle is a result of Reformed Presbyterian tradition and has no express basis in Scripture. Yet you are relying on it as a reason for avoiding practices rooted in tradition that have no express basis in Scripture. Oh, the irony. (By the way, celebrating the Resurrection every Sunday is a great idea—and that’s what we do. Having an even bigger feast and celebration of the Resurrection once a year doesn’t take away from that.) (Continued below)

Charlton said...

(the saga continues; ridiculous, I know)

(3) We don’t “do” Santa or the Easter Bunny with our kids. But if we did, we wouldn’t be “lying” to them. Am I lying to them when I read them “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”? Do I need to start with a disclaimer that Willie Wonka is not real, and any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental? In my opinion, this is simply not a Ninth Commandment issue. And please don’t tell me that a kid who hears about the Easter Bunny and then finds out later that it was just pretend may question his faith as a result. Every day of the year, we live and breathe and talk about the redemption story—CREATION, FALL, REDEMPTION, NEW CREATION—and all that it entails. If we did tell our kids about a giant egg-laying bunny once year, they would not somehow confuse that with, or use it to invalidate, their parents’ or their own entire worldview.

(4) Finally, worshiping Christ through a chocolate bunny would be syncretism. Eating a chocolate bunny on Resurrection Sunday is not. Neither is hunting eggs during the same month as Resurrection Sunday. God has designed all of us—the religious and nonreligious alike—to want and need seasons, and ceremonies, and holidays. That’s why most of Christendom (yourself, Baptists, and half the PCA excepted) celebrates the life of Christ through Advent, Lent, Easter, etc. And that’s why we all (Christians and non-Christians alike) have candles and cake for birthdays, parades and fireworks on the Fourth of July, caps and gowns at graduation, etc. Our culture rejects Christ, but they still need holidays, so they have found a way to celebrate Easter while ignoring the Resurrection. The answer is not to simply cede Easter to non-believers. Remember, God is re-making the world. He is not throwing this one away and starting over—rather, he is redeeming what is already here. He is taking something that was once good but has been corrupted, and he is making it good again. We are supposed to be doing the same thing. Not running away from our world, but remaining in it and working towards its redemption. So when we are faced with a Christian holiday that has been hijacked and corrupted, the answer is not to let the world have it. The answer for Christians is to reclaim it. We have much more to celebrate on Easter than our friends who are merely looking forward to bunnies and eggs. Teach your kids about the real meaning of the Resurreciton, throw a big party, and let your non-believing neighbors see it! And do it ON EASTER!

Finally, it’s a blessing to have thoughtful friends who write interesting and entertaining blog posts on important topics. Thanks for putting up with me and Laura. And, by the way, that Easter Bunny picture is truly frightening.

Anonymous said...

Hello! A friend passed along your blog and I must say that we all share this frustration. The hype began early on, but it was always coupled with rich Church liturgy and tradition which have sadly been taken out in most of the Protestant communities.

Some of the richest things of this season of Lent, Holy Week and Easter are found in the ancient church and the expressions of love in liturgy and tradition that our fathers in the Faith have given to us. Bringing these things back will counter the Target-hype and give us time to meditate on the Central Event in our World. As St. Paul said, "Christ Crucified."

If you have a chance, listen to the Easter Vigil sung on Holy Saturday in a nearby Catholic Church, or parade around at midnight with lighted candles singing hymns of praise and resurrection at a local Orthodox Church. There are many rich traditions that are our inheritance in the faith that have sadly not been passed along much on this terra firma. Let's encourage pastors to explore the ancient faith and bring these things of light out of the darkness.

Anonymous said...

Remington 870 is a good, entry-level rabbit gun. I prefer 20 gauge. For Hudson and Harper, I let them set up the bunnies along the fence and then we shoot the chocolate bunnies AS A FAMILY.

Patti said...

Great debate.

Well, Jamie, you and I have had some great discussions about this. Laura might be dismayed to find that I am possibly even more anti-holiday than you. My issue is that I am not, by nature, a celebrator. And the root of that issue is that I always feel like our celebrations, even when we work so hard on them and/or spend so much money on them, always seem disappointing. Like a glimpse of something exquisite, but never quite realized. When we've got perfection built into us, mediocrity is so exhausting if we're paying attention.

I like what Charlton said about remaining in the world and working toward its redemption. That is certainly the goal. The almost unbearable tension lies in longing for perfection but also being so cognizant that we aren't ever going to get there this side of eternity. But instead of giving up, OR trying to Christianize (ie: Resurrection eggs) what has been so thoroughly secularized, shouldn't we just come up with something BETTER? Not so our non-Christian friends look at us and wonder what is wrong with the dour, kill-joy Christian people, but so they would look at us and know us by our distinctive joy. That we would have the energy to sustain the zeal we feel at Easter and Christmas. That we would balance the fasting and the feast. That our every moment would be permeated with Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!

Enough. Here's to finding the better. Attempting to approach the sublime even though our feet are mired and our attitudes surly.

Thanks for the brain prompt, Mrs. R. Wisdom granted to those who earnestly seek, etc. etc.

Tyne said...

Jamie, what a thought-provoking post, thanks for sharing your heart and convictions on this. I must say that you put into words so succinctly what I feel as well, mostly regarding the commercialism that seems to completely distract from the fact that Christ is risen.

I won't get into all of the theological debate, but I will say what has worked really well for our family. 1)We use Ann Voskamp's Jesse Tree to prepare our family's hearts for the celebration of Jesus' birth and her Easter Tree to prepare for the remembrance of His death and resurrection.
2)We avoid Santa Claus and the Easter bunny because I personally think it sends mixed messages to kids. My kids know that they are pretend and that many of their friends believe in them. We highlight the TRUTH of who God is in these seasons.
3)I don't take the kids to Target or Walmart during Christmas and Easter mostly b/c going to these places with a 2,3,4,and 6 year old is crazy, but also b/c I don't want them to focus on all the materialism. We also really avoid commercialized television programming. As far as gifts go, at Christmas (we didn't this year b/c we were broke) we are going to GIVE to those in need (compassion and world vision have catalogues and we go through them and buy gifts for people who need them). For Easter, we do the resurrection cookies b/c the biblical account explained in the recipe is a tangible way for a young mind to process the whole account; we dye eggs and hide them b/c it is a fun craft and game; and we do easter baskets from the grandparents that have practical things in them- sunglasses, craft supplies, hair bows, seed packets for our garden and toothbrushes- nothing that I am going to step on and crush and want to curse for ;)- say no to the dollar bins.
This year we are having some friends from India over for Easter brunch to celebrate with us. They are not believers and we are looking forward to sharing with them the true reason why we celebrate.
When the kids get a couple years older I really want to incorporate a Seder dinner into our celebration.
What an awesome way to teach your kids about how this week that has now been held hostage by the Easter bunny was really prophesied about thousands of years ago!

Tyne said...

Here are the other links-
Jesse Tree:

Easter Passion Tree:

Charlton said...

Patti, I agree with much of what you say. When I say "reclaim", I'm hearing Bach. But when you mention resurrection eggs, I hear Petra (or maybe early dc talk). "Christianize" should mean making something beautiful and awe-inspiring. It should not be used to describe taking the wolrd's crap and stamping a fish on it.

Jamie, I'm already regretting my point 3. My heart really wasn't in that one. The Easter bunny is so ridiculous that it's almost indefensible, even in the abstract.

Patti said...

Had a revelation this morning. I cry almost every time I take Communion. I don't really understand why, because I'm not generally overly emotional. But this morning I didn't just cry, I broke out into a full-scale, face crumpled weep when poor, unsuspecting Matt Dowiak handed me the cup and looked me in my squinched up eyes and told me that this was Christ's blood shed for me. Then I had face and body spasms all the way back to my seat. Highly un-PCA. I think it had something to do with the trumpet and the soaring "Crown Him With Many Crowns" (Christ the King GETS the Bach, am I right, Charlton??) and the fact that sitting right behind me as I took the cup were the parents of a little girl named Adah whose family is here from China to battle her leukemia...I literally got overwhelmed with the intricacies of the Body--the suffering, the hope, the flesh, the blood, the spirit, the Spirit.

Maybe the calendar serves to help us to all crescendo in unison, realizing that our puny bodies and feeble minds just can't take the full-time focus on the grief and the joy and the magnitude of these three days in Jesus' life. The other 362 days of each year are the subtle build up (I forget the musical term for this)--always pointing us to the culmination, but also reminding us of all that Jesus did on His way to the end and then, the beginning.

And, also, a disclaimer: While it is true the husband did take Harper and Hudson to an antique gun store on Saturday, and they did try out some teeny tiny shotguns, there will be no actual chocolate bunny massacre in our backyard today.

Cheryl said...

I have been thinking about this post a lot today. So thank you, Jamie.
The only thing I have to add is despite the commercialization of this holiday, my heart has been very aware of the redemption in my life. I told P this morning, that I am thankful for times like this. God knew the Israelites needed to build altars lest they forget what He had done. I think these times on the Christian calendar serve as altars to remind us of what He has done. Like Patti said, our feeble minds can't focus on the magnitude of what He accomplished. So I am so thankful to gather with the Church tonight and claim He is Risen with a freshness in mind, body and spirit.
Christ has died. Christ is Risen. Christ WILL come again. Praise be His name!

Patti said...

btw, I know Bach didn't write "Crown Him With Many Crowns" though I'm not sure who did. (interestingly, I just looked it up and two guys wrote it--one Catholic, one Anglican. Fits the debate quite nicely)

Jamie R. said...

Well, well...wasn't this fun :) I intend on writing a response to all of the points raised because I'm finding this discussion quite helpful and look forward to exploring some of the ideas presented further. Tomorrow Lord willing.

I think I'll do a birth control post next.

Oh my gosh I'm so kidding.

Patti said...

1. birth control
2. homeschooling
3. breastfeeding vs. formula
4. rear-facing carseat until 2
5. cloth diapering
6. circumcision
7. infant baptism
8. Rob Bell

I DARE you.

Jamie R. said...

I bet Rob Bell's mother didnt breastfeed long enough. That would explain a lot.

Charlton said...

That's easy:
1. No.
2. Maybe
3. Depends.
4. Don't care.
5. Only if you're a masochist.
6. Doesn't matter.
7. Yes.
8. Hell, no. (or hell, yes--depending on how you look at it)

Cheerios said...

I know I'm really late with this but when my kids ask why we are doing eggs I tell them it's because it's a spring time holiday and we do things that show new life in the spring and Easter/the resurrection happens at the same time.

Jamie R. said...

1)While the consumerism is troublesome, it’s certainly not a central objection I have regarding how we celebrate Easter. But as you said, content with less…teach that to our children. Here, here.

2)I think if you do away with all categories that have been developed that are not expressly named in scripture but are comprised of biblical ideals, then there’s a lot that goes out the window. Of course here is where I will site the term “trinity.” If we group together like principles found in the Bible and give this group a name for the sake of convenience and clarity, can we really say it has no express basis in Scripture? Call it whatever you want. The name is not what matters but the idea that God cares what we do when we gather as it pertains to how he is worshipped needed to be addressed. What we do corporately is different than what we do individually or even familially. But since Lent (or whatever church calendar event you choose) is a practice and the Regulative Principle is a categorical term, I’m not sure why we’re comparing them.

3)Despite the regret you’ve already expressed, I feel I must comment. If Steven asked you if Willy Wonka was going to come to his house and leave him a Golden Ticket, what would you say? While this was by no means my point, I do believe that telling your children something exists when it does not and when it would do no one harm to tell the truth (I’m thinking of a nazi/Jew scenario here and really not prepared to go there) is really never advisable. But I appreciate the roll you were on Friday night.

4) While I agree that ALL of the days are the Lord’s and whatever we do on one day has to be permissible to do on any day, my struggle is not there. It’s eating the chocolate bunny to the neglect of celebrating the resurrection. True, we need seasons, ceremonies, and holidays as humans. But equally true, I believe, is that humans are terrible multi-taskers. On any given Lord’s Day, it is hard enough to stop the deafening noise of everyday life and just rest and focus on God. Add a few Easter baskets and some candy and it’s damn near impossible. Why is it, that on the days that are supposed to be set aside to commemorate the two most consequential events in the history of the Church, are we trifling with a bunny? I just don’t get that. If we are going to reclaim this day, will doing exactly what the unbelievers do accomplish that? Shouldn’t our day look drastically different? And I don’t mean hiding mini replicas of crucifixion elements in eggs. But nice, try, Resurrection Egg guys.

Here’s the deal--I really hate it when I hear “Ok, here’s what we’re all going to do. No, we’re not told in Scripture that we should do this certain thing in remembrance of Him, but it seems like a good idea so let’s just go with it, k? I know, I know, Christ did give us bread and wine to use to remember him by, but I say Go big or go home!”

But I do confess that the ability to perfectly remember and meditate on (and join in with others to do those things) is not one that I possess. I can see why the church calendar could be useful. And I would be all for reclaiming that…I think. And given the state of the church universal, I would say “reclaim” would not be a stretch. But the Easter Bunny? Eh. I say let it go.

Jamie R. said...

Also, I googled "scary easter bunny" and that was the first picture to come up.

And I'm not sure who I think I am arguing with someone who makes a living arguing. Even a fool, etc, etc. ;)

kate o. said...

i'll chime in here with something that helped us work through some of this...and to be honest and it also helped us in a pragmatic way (freeing up easter weekend from the time-consuming candy/egg-coloring/etc craziness).

we do our baskets and egg coloring and other "spring fun" on the first day of spring. the kiddos get their candy and eggs and egg hunt and so on and then it helps us focus more on easter when the time comes. and i tell them that this set up is really in their best interest because they end up getting two times to throw a party in a short amount of time.

this year i missed the first day of spring so i told the boys that it will indeed happen while it is still spring...hopefully ;) but then our neighbor boys surprised us on easter morning by setting up an egg hunt for the boys in our yard. sweetest thing ever and it really touched us but it also confirmed to us that having sugar-hyped boys on sunday morning is not what i'd call fun and that the first day of spring will be marked in bold on the calendar next year.

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