To the editor:
It's that time of the year again: Here comes Peter Cottontail!
Just about every store is dressed in a kaleidoscope of springy colors and all the goodies associated with the holiday — Easter baskets, Easter bunnies, Easter eggs and, of course, PEEPS.
I recall with great fondness the fun I had as a child Easter morning looking for my basket of blessings. But as I look back, I had no clue that my greatest blessing wasn't my basket, or my pretty Easter outfit, or that tasty ham dinner. Nope. It wasn't until years later when I fully "grasped" the significance of Easter — eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Now I am fully aware that not everyone holds this belief to be truth, and that's your choice. Nobody is "forcing" you to believe, just sharing the Good News. That's the beauty of the free will — we get to choose.
God didn't create man to be like robots. We get to come to him freely to receive his gift of Christ.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have life everlasting." — John 3:16
Again, you decide.
Culturally, there are about three schools of thought when it comes to Christian religious celebrations — in this case, Easter.
You have folks like myself who share in the "holiness" of the day, attending services to worship God. The focus is on HIM and not on ourselves.
Then we have people who see the day through a different lens, a more secular celebration, where the main focus is on their activities — gifts, food, outfits and all the exterior manifestations that focus the attention away from God. There is little reflection or no reflection at all as to what this day truly represents. Again, your choice.
And lastly, we have people who for whatever reason simply don't believe. Easter is just another day. And that too is their choice.
Perhaps the saddest testimony regarding the celebration of Easter is the church's role (most denominations) in dignifying and allowing the mixture of unholy stuff (bunnies, eggs, baskets, etc.) to be connected with a holy God. (These ungodly distractions, it should be noted, trace back to a pagan festivals in the second century involving Teutonic tribes and, sadly, Christian missionaries.)
Understandably, it's fun to go out and buy all these goodies. I get that. But let's face it, we've diluted the message of the cross which is God's hate for sin and His love for man.
We're exchanging it for some temporary crap made in China. How's that going to help you in the long run?
As a result, we now live in world where God has become more of an afterthought, or no thought at all, while our culture spirals in an ongoing quest for self-seeking fulfillment through materialism, which never satisfies.
I hear the grumbling now: "What a killjoy she is." Listen, if you want to go out and spend your money on junk be my guest. And if you want to celebrate the bunnies, and the eggs, and all that which is unrelated to Easter, knock yourself out. Ushering in spring with a "separate" fun festival sounds great. Set a date and I'll mark my calendar.
But let's be serious, what the hell does the Easter Bunny have to do with Jesus Christ? C'mon.
The Jews have been very wise in this area by standing firm and not allowing such foolishness to corrupt their holy days like Yom Kippur, Passover, Rosh Hashana, etc.
You don't see any cartoon characters or cheap merchandise invading their religious beliefs. No pagan festivals overshadowing their holy days.
The Jewish people should be proud of how they have managed to maintain such reverence, honor and worship to God Almighty during their celebrations. How admirable.
In an age where people enjoy getting stuff for "free," the greatest freebie of all has already been given — eternal life with Christ.
It's up to us whether we want the gift or not. Consider it. You get to choose.