Saturday, April 3, 2010

eggs and bunnies

The challenge as a mother is to make our holiday traditions meaningful to little children. I find that much easier at Christmas then at Easter. At least Santa was originally a saint who gave unselfishly of himself to others. What did the Easter bunny ever do for humanity, aside from gorging them with chocolate? Where do eggs fit into the Resurrection story?

It is well-known that bunnies and eggs are a result of the merge of our Christian holiday and the pagan celebration of spring and fertility. All new life was believed to come from the egg. And rabbits, apparently, were prolific egg-layers.



I was skeptical that any legitimate link could be made between eggs and Christ. Upon researching this, however, it seems that the church made a valient attempt at making the connection:
- The hard shell of the egg represents the sealed Tomb of Christ.
- Cracking the eggs symbolizes Christ breaking open the Tomb, being resurrected from the dead.
- The hard-boiled egg inside of the shell is perfect, just like Christ was perfect when He exited the Tomb. (He did have scars from His piercings, so I think we can forgive ourselves if we knick the egg while trying to crack it open.)
- The egg, as mentioned above, represents new life. This life is truly found in Christ.
- The egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in celebrations of spring. In the Biblical world, this translates easily as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.
- Traditionally, Easter eggs were dyed red to represent the blood of Christ.
I have to say that I was surprised to realize all of the connections, because I have never been able to come up with any on my own. I find nothing wrong with the historical church attempting to be culturally relevant by using familiar symbols to teach people about what Jesus Christ did for us on the first Easter so long ago.

My one-and-a-half year old won't understand any of this yet, so we made the connection between eggs and Jesus a different way:



Our eggs were decorated with secret messages (in white crayon) about God's love for us... things like: Jesus loves you! He rose again! & God loves Annike!

We even got a cracked egg to say "the curtain of the temple tore in two."





Ultimately, I have decided that traditions are what we make of them. As for bunnies, I think they just come with the territory, kind of like Santa's reindeer.

3 comments:

  1. I do like your thoughts a lot!! Thank you!
    big hug
    claudia

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  2. Great post Ashley! Way to go in finding the connections...I wondered that myself. I LOVE the eggs you made with Annike! We have been talking to Analise and Jameson about God's big love for us (she totally remembers Jessica's dad's story from the Easter party). We talked today about hunting for eggs, the Easter bunny not being real, but sometimes it is fun to pretend, etc. We are filling her eggs with fun, meaningful things...like homemade Jesus stickers. We sure love your family and we love that you take the time and care to always incorporate Christ into every aspect of your lives!

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  3. Great, now I feel guilty for eating boiled eggs.

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