Easter. This is it. THE celebration.
Easter is the holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Scripture tells us that this occurred three days after Jesus was crucified by the Romans and died. Easter concludes the season of Lent. This is the moment in the rhythm of Church life when we recognize where our hope is based. If all of the other things fall away, the fullness of our faith is expressed in the instant that we recognize that the tomb was actually empty. The story is not just a story. The prophesy has come true and Jesus is alive!
Just like every religiously significant holiday, the opportunity to jump on the commercialization band wagon is high. Bunnies and eggs and chocolate and hunting for money and baskets and all of the things make for interesting celebratory tools are fascinating replacements for a day that should be about the fullness of the Christian story. I cannot wrap my brain around how a 12″ chocolate bunny embodies the forgiveness. I digress.
Even before I could understand the significance of this day in my spirit, my family cultivated a love of the celebration. As a child, Easter was one of my favorite days. We dressed up, we hunted eggs, I stole eggs from my siblings baskets. It was great. As I grew older, the Easter traditions continued with eye rolls about pantyhose and still more egg stealing. As I have aged, my tunnel vision on the message of the season has increased. Even more so than Christmas, I resist the bombarding noise of the advertised chaos. I just want this season to be about Jesus! While this holiday has always had a rhythm of celebration, it was only as I experienced some dark and deadly places in my soul that I found the appreciation of the resurrection. Without walking into the darkness, I had no appreciation for the light.