Easter Sunday is usually my favourite church service of the year. This year I found myself struggling. What began with triumphant shouts of Christ is Risen Alleluiah, Alleluiah, Alleluiah and a beautiful flowering of the cross ended with an easter egg hunt.
“It’s great to see the kids so enthusiastic.” someone commented. But is it really? Is an enthusiastic sugar high really a substitute for celebrating the resurrection of Christ. Have we bought into the secular culture so much that we can no longer tell the difference?
When I discussed this with a friend yesterday she told me that she too struggled. She realized that the values being emphasized in the easter egg hunt are counter to kingdom values – greed, individualism and competitiveness drove the kids to find more candy not to share but for themselves. And what about the symbolism?
The Easter Bunny is a rabbit-spirit. Long ago, he was called the “Easter Hare”, hares and rabbits have frequent multiple births so they became a symbol of fertility. The custom of an Easter egg hunt began because children believed that hares laid eggs in the grass. The Romans believed that “All life comes from an egg.” Christians consider eggs to be “the seed of life” and so they are symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. read more here
Now I am all for taking the symbols of the culture and transforming them into the symbols of our faith, but I wonder have we transformed this symbol or has it transformed us? Are our values and our joy in the resurrection of Christ subverted by the secular culture that is all into greed, consumption and competitiveness? Do we miss out on the life that the season is meant to renew in us because we are caught up in another world view?
The fact that most of my friends are now back to life as usual doesn’t help me at all. Easter is meant to be a season in which we celebrate the transformation in in our lives. For most Christians it isn’t even a day. A couple of years ago I wrote a post: What Have We Done with Jesus? that sums up a lot of my concerns so I won’t repeat them here.
This year I came across this image on Matt Stone’s blog which seems to say it all. An atheist friend of ours holds an easter bunny BBQ each year. He too is disgusted with the worship of the season but obviously for very different reasons. I would love to hear from those of you who have found alternatives to the easter egg hunt that really do symbolize the renewing transformation of Christ rather than the rebirth of spring fashions and consumer values.