Let's talk about Easter. There's a fun side to Easter, a commercial side to Easter, and a religious side to Easter. It's a pretty complicated holiday, to be sure.
I mean, we have the Easter bunny - which I've heard that the bunny was a fertility sign from a pagan holiday that merged with the celebration of the resurrection of Christ when Constantine up and got Christian all over the Roman Empire. But when you're little you have no idea about that stuff - the Easter Bunny brings you everybody's favorite Easter baskets! Candy! Toys! Fake green paper strips to imitate grass and get all over the house and in corners you didn't even know existed! And candy!
And I mean people, let's not forget the famed Easter egg hunts! I remember that was the thing I used to be the most excited about when I was little - I mean yeah, okay, church in the morning in a highly uncomfortable dress and tights! (Tights I tell you! Oh the horror! How my legs loathed being encased by suffocating white thin socks that went all the way up to my waist! It was torture.) But even though we heard the message about the wonderful thing that Jesus did for us, I was still super stoked about those plastic eggs filled with sweets waiting to be found in our house. Coloring the hard boiled eggs was almost just as fun.
I remember being so disappointed when my parents decided to quit hiding the eggs for us to find. I was mad at them for taking away all the fun. I felt like they were just being too lazy to hide the Easter eggs, and to an extent that was true. I mean, they'd been doing it for a long time when they finally decided to stop, but I still felt like it was unfair. I felt like The DP and The Mechanic got shafted because when I was their age I still got Easter egg hunts.
The Keeper and I took it upon ourselves to hide the Easter eggs for the little kids. That didn't last very long, but it made me feel better. And then my aunt and uncle moved across the state line from us, about a half hour away, and they held grand Easter egg hunts. Not only were there eggs filled with candy, but also with coins. And I just couldn't get over that. Those crazy kids also hid a "Golden Egg" filled with a 20 dollar bill - and you can guess that's what the real competition was about. We each wanted it equally as bad as the others and every year we set out on a mission to find that silly egg and claim the prize for our wallets!
But now that I'm older, egg hunts are a little below me. I still miss them, but I don't feel like I'm missing out something fierce just because I don't participate in one. However, I feel like for me it's more about celebrating Jesus. And eating candy.
I mean, this holiday I feel like should be bigger than Christmas. Yes, Christmas is all fine and good and shouldn't be overlooked because it is a truly great thing to celebrate the birth of our Savior, but Easter! People, Easter is when we celebrate the reason that He was sent to us! His death on the cross and resurrection from the tomb three days later to save us from our sins! I feel like that message is somewhat lost.
The pastor today gave a good message about sinning and missing the mark but we are forgiven! And we are loved no matter what the circumstance, no matter how bad we mess up, or how low we think we've sunk, Jesus' love will always find us. But I feel like he just didn't really drive his message home, he would talk right up to the point and then stop short. I kept waiting for him to say "But He is RISEN! And we are FORGIVEN! Hallelujah! What a HAPPY DAY!" But he just never got that excited about it. I didn't feel like he really celebrated that awesome wonderful news.
Don't worry though, I got excited myself. Today was about celebration, and I celebrated by eating tootsie rolls and Reese's peanut butter eggs and treating myself to dinner tonight.
I'm not perfect, I don't try to be perfect, but I am forgiven and I am loved and my Savior has conquered the grave to live again! And what better news could you ask for?