This post was most recently updated on May 18th, 2015
Today is Good Friday, traditionally observed by Christians around the world as the end of Lent and the lead-in to Easter Sunday. Non-Christians celebrate Easter as a non-Christian holiday (although I wonder, seeing as Easter only exists because of Jesus Christ – what’s the deal with that?) complete with the big family gatherings, the egg hunts and everybody’s favorite Bunny. But there are many Christians who also incorporate these more … secular aspects of the season into their Easter traditions. Like me. Every year as we prepare eggs for coloring and craft the perfect Easter baskets for our kids, I wonder if we’re doing the right thing by allowing our kids to celebrate this way. Is it okay for a Christian to recognize the Rabbit?
There are quite a few people within my circle of friends who choose to add the candy, colored eggs and other ‘bunny trappings’ to their traditional Easter holiday. In fact, most of them are from our same church family. And in their homes, as in ours, the true story of Easter Sunday is purposefully put at the forefront. Easter is about the resurrection of Christ … all my kids know this. We talk about it in Bible study, in History class – sometimes in the car on the way to the orthodontist. My family knows Jesus. We love Jesus. We celebrate His birth, are saved through His death, and rejoice in His resurrection. Every day. But are we bad Christians because we also give our kids the non-Christian experience of egg hunts and jelly beans?
I don’t think so. I believe that adding these extra fun family memories to our Easter holidays only serves to make my children more aware of all the blessings in their lives – and the blessing of life everlasting. It’s not only about the Bunny or the baskets or even the ham. For us, Easter represents the official beginning of Spring; we see buds and blooms on the flowers and trees, baby calves in the pasture and a renewal of life after a long, cold winter. Which is exactly what Jesus gave us when He rose from the tomb that Sunday morning long ago – a renewal of our lives through Him. And I don’t think my love for those Cadbury eggs makes me a bad Christian any more than trick-or-treating at Halloween makes me a Satanist. Or believing in Santa Claus and the Christmas Spirit means I’ve forgotten why we even celebrate Christmas.
I’m not judging anyone who disagrees with me. If your family observes a very conservative, Biblically traditional Easter celebration – I think that’s awesome. But I do believe there should be room in our Christian lives for fun. I know too many fellow Christians who never seem very happy or joyful. They don’t seem to delight in much of anything, even their walk with Christ. And I don’t understand it. I can’t imagine that Jesus would want us to live our lives in such somber service to Him. Knowing the Lord and knowing He’s got my back makes me happy! It brings me joy to celebrate His birth, His life, His Glory! To me, the Easter Bunny is fun. I love watching my kids laugh and run around the yard looking for the eggs they worked so hard to make beautiful. Those memories are precious to me. And if everything we do in our lives is for the glory of God, on a daily basis, what harm is there in making these special moments with our family?
Maybe it seems like I’m trying to justify having my chocolate and eternal life, too. I don’t think so, but everyone sees things differently. I really don’t think that Christians need to choose between Jesus and the Easter Bunny. I think there’s a place for fun and reverence – I mean, do we have any evidence that Jesus never laughed or told a joke? I just don’t get the idea that there’s no room for fun and frivolity in Christianity. And to be truthful, any time my family is together in one place for very long, hilarity ensues. So if being a good Christian is based on how seriously one celebrates these Christian holidays … well, we’re in trouble already.
However you choose to celebrate this Easter Sunday, I wish you and your family many blessings. He is risen! And I think there are some chocolate eggs hidden away from the kids, still …