Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Thoughts on Easter

I've always revered Easter as the day commemorating Jesus's resurrection, by far the most significant event for mankind since the Fall (actually, it rather elegantly reverses the ultimate consequences of the Fall).

However, I've never liked the popular imagery associated with Easter: hard-boiled eggs, a magical bunny, and candy.

The eggs and bunny represent fertility, the promise of new life. I completely agree that, in its own way, the resurrection represents the promise of new life. Still, the images seem far too pagan for my liking. The only thing we're missing here for full no-holds-barred pagan imagery is a giant phallus--then again, the Easter Bunny often holds a carrot.

At least Santa Claus is based upon a man, St. Nicholas, who gave gifts to those in need, just as God gave unto us his only begotten Son (John 3:16). The Easter Bunny is based upon an animal that procreates at rates amazing even to those in the NBA.

The candy must be the thing that gets kids into Easter. However, it causes them to get excited about Easter for the wrong reason.

At 6:00 A.M., I will wake up my three children (Mass is at 8 A.M., so we need to get started early). Robbie is too young to get it this year, but the older two will be all jazzed over the Easter baskets.

Our celebration of Christmas has the same problem, but at least it isn't filled with pagan imagery and ugly pastels.

On top of all of this, hard-boiled eggs taste, to me, what I imagine a pile of dung must taste like.

Christmas has eggnog, cookies, and all sorts of goodies.

Easter has food that smells like something that came out of my Uncle Les about an hour after Thanksgiving dinner.

We and our children should be happy on Easter. But it's an ironic happiness. We are saved--yes, that is the big deal. However, we should bow our heads in a bit of shame to know that we are so depraved that an innocent and good man had to suffer and die in order that we might have another chance.

Easter should evoke two emotions: gratefulness and shame.


  1. I forgot to mention this.

    About a half-hour ago, Mark emerged from his room. He was concerned that my wife and I had not yet gone to bed.

    His reason?

    The Easter Bunny won't come if people are awake.

    It took a great deal of restraint for me to resist asking him if he thought that our dog--a beagle and rabbit hunter--would bark when the Easter Bunny came.

  2. Rev. BAR6:57 AM

    You're right on the mark with the pagan imagery associated with Easter. Just another example of how pagan traditions have managed to survive in a Christianity-dominated culture. Jim Gaffigan has some good jokes about Easter, and how the eggs, bunny, candy have no connection to the Resurrection. I have to disagree with you on one point: Easter Sunday is no time for shame: leave that for Good Friday. On Easter, we should be so filled with joy and thankfulness, that we forget our shame, just as God has forgotten/forgiven the reason for our shame. I understand your reasoning, and one should never forget one's own sinfulness, but Easter is a day to focus mainly on our victory over sin and shame.

  3. BAR:

    Yes, Good Friday is the ultimate day for shame. However, without Good Friday's shame, Easter's joy would be meaningless. That's what I meant. For anyone to be joyful about the Savior's resurrection, one must think about why the savior had to die in the first place.

    That means than Easter is a time for joy (for our salvation) and our sorrow (for our depravity that made such a sacrifice necessary).

  4. BAR:

    You said "Easter is a day to focus mainly on our victory over sin and shame."

    I remind you that the victory was not our own. The victory was God's. We haven't the power ourselves.

    This surprises me, since you are a Lutheran, to suggest that you can save yourself.

    How was Jesus's sacrifice related to anything that I have done?

  5. Recall Kris Kristofferson's elqouent song: "Why me Lord, / What have I ever done / To deserve even one / Of the blessings I've known..."

  6. Don't try to bait me, Aristos. It is common terminology to refer to Christ's victory over sin and death as Victory for all Mankind. We share in the spoils of the victory, salvation, so it is ours as a gift from God. What makes it so great is that without Christ's sacrifice, we would have no chance of victory. The suggestion was never there, as I'm sure you knew.

  7. Hell yes I'm baiting you!

    What did you ever do to deserve Jesus's suffering and death?

  8. Christmas lacks pagan traditions, eh...

    Prior to the Christian era, when the winter solstice neared and vegetation began to die, pagans would bring evergreen branches into their homes with the supernatural intention of guarding the life essence of the plants until spring. This custom was later re-appropriated by Europeans as the so-called Christmas tree.

    Heathens 1
    Originality 0

  9. Drew:

    You forgot to mention that Christmas was set on Dec. 25 not because it was Jesus's birthday but to supplant a very popular pagan holiday that neophytes were loathe to forfeit.

    I guess my primary complaint against Easter's pagan imagery is that it's so unbelievably gay, what with bunnies, painted eggs, dainty baskets, and pastel hues.

    Then again, Christmas does have the old guy asking kids to sit on his lap...


Bill of Rights