Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Wishes and Candy Dreams

"Does the Easter Bunny represent Jesus?"
"Are these eggs for Jesus or can I eat one?"
"Why do we have egg hunts for Easter?"

These are the kinds of questions thrown at me lately. and I usually stumble through a confusing and inaccurate explanation as my son gazes up at me with skeptical blue eyes. "Jesus was crucified, then three days later he rose from the dead and the tomb...was...like an empty egg, so we fill that tomb egg with candy and hide it in the grass."

"Jesus...is that you??"


Honestly, this is what I hate about Christian holidays.  "Let's celebrate the birth of Jesus with...toys!! His resurrection? Candy!!"  The secular aspects have merged almost completely with the religious, so that it's hard to distinguish one from the other and frankly, a lot of religious practices don't always make a lot of sense to me. But I was raised with a set of beliefs and I never really thought to question any of them or reconcile that which seemed illogical.   When my kids were little I didn't have to explain anything, which made my own ignorance easy to mask. However now that they're getting older and more cognizant of the world around them, I'm faced with a choice. To continue feeding them the same vague, half-hearted explanations or to reject the status quo and go another way. Considering my options, I'll choose the latter.

 There is no reason to believe that my children cannot be both religious and pragmatic, or that forgoing the fairy tale will make the world any less magical.  In fact if anything I think it will make their spiritual experiences that much more profound and personal. 

In the end, where Easter in concerned, I want them to know that he lived, but not in a plastic egg.