Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Not About the Bunny....

Being a Christian does not rid your life of all controversy.

We do stand firmly rooted on certain foundational, immovable, non-negotiable truths; yet, alongside those truths are MANY topics which are up to each of us to decide where we stand - and then stand there (with a certain degree of flexibility!)

Although I spent this weekend focusing on the sacrifice Christ made for us and what His resurrection means; I also spent a fair amount of time thinking about Easter traditions: eggs, bunnies, candy, bonnets, dresses and the like. Since becoming an adult, and even more so after having children, I have had to re-think so many things. As our children grow, learn to communicate and process their own thoughts and feelings, I continue to re-think my stand on many topics. This week's topic was (appropriately) Easter traditions.

Having grown up in the church, I feel comfortable saying that I have heard just about every debate on holiday practices, their various roots and origins, and opinions about the place they hold (or shouldn't hold) in the life of a Christian. As with many of these debates, I've found there comes a time when I need to make an informed decision about what my opinion is and then move on. (until such time I am prompted to re-think that decision!)

This is my current determination regarding Easter...

I know the true meaning of Easter: the day we, as Christians celebrate Christ's Resurrection. On the other hand, I have read about the pagan origins of 'Easter', the symbolism of bunnies and eggs and fertility, and the worship of these as gods, etc. (thanks Wikipedia and Google for refreshing my memory!)

So, as a Christian, and as a mommy, what do I do with this information?

We love springtime. At the close of winter, we start celebrating all things spring. We have little girls, so this includes tea parties, picnics, baby animals, flowers, bunnies, life in general.

Easter is about Christ's resurrection and all those things we surround ourselves with to celebrate spring also celebrate the new life given to us through His resurrection. I personally don't view our decorating Easter eggs as participating in a tribute to the gods of fertility. Our children know that eggs (naturally) represent new life, are a healthy snack, and are at times a simple object lesson to help them grasp the concept of the trinity.

More often than not, we dress up on Easter Sunday; just as we would any other time we have something to celebrate. We choose to give the day we celebrate Christ's resurrection the same honor we would a special birthday or a wedding.

Odds are, our children will grow up surrounded by fluffy dresses, baskets, candy, bunnies and eggs at Easter time...even if they are not present in our home. I feel it is my responsibility to instill in them the amazing truths about Easter so that they will be remembered each time the trappings hit the store shelves.

Some may have entirely different convictions on this topic...and that's okay. We are all held accountable for what God has shown us is right or wrong for us personally. I do believe that anytime holiday practices overshadow the truth or distract from it, it is cause for alarm and time for us to refocus.

For now, you will see eggs on my blog, baskets of candy in our kitchen and dresses on Easter Sunday. But rest assured, if you ask my children what we are celebrating on Easter, they will tell you we are celebrating the new life we have because Jesus rose from the dead. (and if they don't, let me know and we will go over it again!)

Some things I enjoyed reading this week:
It's Not About the Bunny by Martha Matthews
Why the Easter Bunny? by Resurgence
The Truth About Easter by MckMama


TeresaW said...

Actually, this post was very enlightening to me. It is a nice way of looking at and understanding the Easter celebrations. Thanks.

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Much Love

TeresaW :0)

Vicky said...

Well done! As much as I too loved watching the boys enjoy the "trappings," they too will tell you that the meaning of Easter is about the cross and resurrection, and nails, and crowns and celebrations of empty tombs. Its a delicate balance :)

cindy said...

This was put so well Kristin and we share the same conviction in this area. My kiddo's too can share why we celebrate Easter Sunday as well and we stay focused on that as we color the eggs or get the baskets of treasures.....
Well said my friend, well said!!!
In Him,