Easter Weekend (Part 2)

The Easter Bunny was supposed to come on Friday night. But Steve worked until 3:30 am, and I didn't feel like climbing up the garage shelving to get the Easter box down myself. So the kids woke up on Sunday morning and were completely delighted with what they found in their baskets: a Camelbak water bottle, a DVD, ring pops, and some miscellaneous little toys that Lucy noticed all just happened to be from the Treehouse. (It just happens that I won the Treehouse basket at the Junior League fundraiser auction a couple of weeks ago.)

I think Steve's new Easter tradition is speaking in church. His talk was based on Elder Holland's powerful 2009 General Conference message, None Were With Him. Steve also spoke about our family's experience watching the ten Easter videos that are part of The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos. They are wonderfully made and short enough to watch and discuss while eating a bedtime snack. Rachel and Lucy have learned so much from all of the online church resources; we really do live in an amazing day and time.

I taught about the Book of Mormon being a witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to my Primary class, and the kids were all super attentive and asked great questions about our bodies, spirits, and what happens after we die. It really turned into more of a lesson on the Plan of Salvation, and then one of the kids asked me where the word Easter came from. I didn't know (or couldn't remember), so I told them if they would all sit quietly, I would look it up on my phone.

I quickly scanned a few websites and concluded that the word "Easter" is not of Christian origin and was a pagan festival to celebrate the goddess of fertility. Easter was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity. . . almost like a compromise.

I didn't even think to look it up in the Bible Dictionary because I didn't realize that the word Easter is in the King James Version of the Bible. The Bible Dictionary's entry reads:

Easter. This word occurs only once in the Bible (Acts 12:4) and then would be better translated passover. The word Easter is from Eastre, a Norse goddess whose pagan festival was observed at the spring equinox. The association of this pagan goddess with the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ was only by adaptation and synthesis. There is no real connection. Jesus, being the Lamb of God, was crucified at passover time and is the true Passover (see 1 Cor. 5:7). He was raised from the grave on the third day thereafter. It thus became a springtime anniversary and has come to be called Easter in the Christian world.

So my conclusion is that "Easter" is actually a non-religious holiday. The Easter Bunny, Easter egg hunts, and all sorts of other springtime activities need not be rejected or avoided and are a completely appropriate way to celebrate Easter. However, as Christians, we should not let these activities get in the way of our religious celebration and observance of Resurrection Sunday, when our focus should be to "declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear" (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland).

I am glad for that question in my Primary class that incited my examination of the Easter holiday. I really do enjoy all of the Easter celebrations and no longer feel the need to "incorporate" more religion into Easter. We will just celebrate "Easter" on Saturday and make greater efforts to keep the two celebrations more distinct and separate.

Here are our after-church pictures. (Yes, I washed their cute new shirts on Saturday night and had them double as new church outfits):

I went to work preparing our Easter dinner of spiral ham, funeral potatoes, and brussel sprouts. (The two grocery stores I went to on Saturday were both sold out of asparagus. I also struck out looking for a new tie for Adam.)

We waited for Steve to come home from church, but as soon as he did, he went right upstairs and straight to bed with a migraine headache. My mom came to the door right after we said the dinner prayer, so she took Steve's seat at the table and enjoyed our Easter dinner with us.

Hope you all had a Happy Easter and a wonderful Resurrection Sunday. See, I am practicing them being separate.

P.S. Sometimes I wish I were a professional blogger so I could make blogging a higher priority in my life. Good news. . . as soon as I finish our taxes, I can tackle my pictures from Mexico.

1 comment:

Natalie B. said...

Okay, I am not just blog reading all day...but this post answered my last question. I have been tied to my computer because we have been doing taxes all day and night. :) While your mom was eating at your table, your dad was eating at ours. It was fun to see him! As for us, we pretty much completely celebrated Easter, but not really the resurrection so much, except briefly watching a few movies that afternoon. Cute kids, as usual!