Between ages zero and thirty-two, I celebrated Easter the fun way: with bunnies, baskets, and expensive clothes. What better way to say "Jesus reigns" than dressing my preschooler in a $45 dress to show her off in the church lobby? (You're welcome, Jesus. Be blessed.)
Now let's be clear: If you had asked me what my Easter priorities were as I stood all fancy in the lobby, I'd become grave and mention the resurrection. For crying out loud, I'm a Christian. But truthfully, between the outfit shopping, the Easter baskets, the egg ______ (dying, stuffing, hiding, hunting), the pictures, the lunch menu, and the gift buying, Jesus was flat last. I started thinking about him as the band started at church, and I thought about him for a whole hour.
That's just true.
But for the last three years Jesus has messed with me. Frankly, he's hijacked all my holiday endeavors. I've always celebrated holidays with a cultural major and a spiritual minor. Take Christmas, for example. I endlessly spent on garbage no one needed and worked myself into a December frenzy and oh well. La de da. Now I'm overwhelmed by the poor and the disgusting consumerism cycle and the heinous neglect of Jesus and the appalling nature of it all.
Then we got to Easter, or as God called it, Passover. Easter is a little name picked up from the Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess of spring, Eostre, who saved a frozen bird from the harsh winter by turning it into a magical rabbit who could lay eggs. Hence: "Easter" bunnies and eggs. Why are elements of a pagan religion associated with the highest holy day of the Christian faith? Oh bother. Can't we just carry on and dye our Eostre eggs in peace?1