Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Resurrecting Easter

Solange De Santis writes in an opinion piece for Episcopal Life
Between Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day (lesser religious retail holidays), the avalanche of Easter tackiness arrives to crowd store shelves and nestle next to the checkout counter....The Easter bunny myth hasn't solidified as well as Santa Claus' Christmas Eve trip, but banners, posters and decorations feature the frantic rabbit who in some vague way arrives to fill baskets with goodies. Near the cards, stuffed animals seem to hop and bleat and twitter and tweet all around.
She goes on to conclude,
Like Christmas, Easter—when stripped of its religious meaning—has become an all-purpose seasonal festival. Perhaps those not interested in faith could call Christmas Winterfest and Easter Springfest. Then Santa Claus and presents could replace Jesus and the Eucharist, and bunnies and chocolate could replace the cross and Resurrection.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld's TV show suggested an all-purpose substitute for Christmas or Hanukkah called Festivus, which would feature the "airing of grievances and feats of strength." Better yet, combine faith traditions. The clunky word "Chrismukkah" already exists to describe a melding of Christmas and Hanukkah. So, since Passover often arrives at about the same time as Easter, perhaps we need Eastover? Passter? Easier to pronounce than Chrismukkah, surely.

Beyond the stores, and refusing to give in to a vernal version of "bah, humbug," we rejoice in a riot of color and joy. Who does not wish to greet the season of rebirth with fresh, pastel colors and a pot or two of ridiculously gorgeous lilies?

Happy memories for both parent and child arise from Easter egg-coloring sessions. People still dress up for the day at church services, where more smiles seem the norm.

How much deeper and more satisfying the celebratory aspect of Easter becomes, though, when the journey includes Lent and Good Friday, the observances that don't lend themselves quite so easily to the greeting-card culture.

One view holds that Lent and Good Friday, with their emphasis on denial and discipline and meditation on Jesus' suffering, are religious "downers." Yet no one would argue that suffering exists in this world—especially in this time of economic pain. How easy it is to feel helpless in the face of such enormous needs.

The Easter journey of faith, from darkness and death to salvation and Resurrection, gives balm to the soul. It reminds us of the promise of new life and hope, despite our current hardships. Easter says that sin is not eternal; that even death has no power. At a very human level, it tells us that change is possible in our own lives and spirits when we may be walking down a destructive path. Christians are a Resurrection people.
The full text of her reflection is online here: Resurrecting Easter



  • At 4/03/2009 8:57 AM, Anonymous Kelly said…

    Never got into the cutesy bunnies, fluffy chicks, and especially PASTELS! OK, I got into the chocolate, but not just during Easter. :)

    Yes, of course, my kids have done a few egg hunts, but not before living through Lent, doing the Stations of the Cross and learning to appreciate what the season is truly about.

    I admit, that when they were very young, I did try to enforce the Easter bunny myth (lie), but they didn't fall for it. Zachary, at age three said, "You expect me to believe that a giant bunny is coming to our house? PUhleeeeze!"

    So, I went with the TRUTH about the Easter season and what we should actually be celebrating and appreciating.


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