Cracking the Eggs

Egg Emoticons by Kate Ter Haar - Used under Creative Commons

While we take our faith very seriously, there are very few things about which I’m choosy when it comes to holidays. I’m not that person who shouts about “keeping Christ in Christmas,” if you know what I mean. Still, Karen and I had discussions early on as to how we would celebrate Easter with our daughter. As it’s one of the two most central holidays to the Christian faith…arguably even the most important one…it’s one that we want to get right. By “get right,” I mean not focused on bunnies and eggs and that sort of thing.

That said, celebrating the coming of Spring is fun, and, I think, it’s healthy to observe the changing of the seasons around us. There’s a valuable perspective that comes with that, a thankfulness and observance that’s all too easy to permit to slip by as we stay indoors all day and streamline our workflows.

So, the end result of this was to have two celebrations. The first would be on the first day of Spring, at which time our daughter would receive her basket and eggs and bunnies and chocolate. On Easter Sunday, we would observe the Resurrection, the critical holiday to our faith, and consider it’s implications in how we perform our faith.

Of course, when grandparents get involved, there’s no end of chocolate and egg hunts, but they’ve sort of earned that privilege at this stage.

This year, ┬áKaren chose a medium of which I had never heard to present the story of Easter to our daughter: Resurrection Eggs. They’re a spiffy little device, I must say, and she used them to walk through the events of the holiday last weekend.

This morning, I was trying in vain to wake up and feeding my coffee addiction while watching our daughter play. She has several small toy farm animals that are currently favorites, and she had declared a shelf of the living room entertainment center to be the barn into which they would escape the rain. During the course of the play, she got the Resurrection Eggs out of Karen’s bag, opened all of them, and involved their contents with the rest of the collection. I was struck by the way in which she incorporated these small symbols of a most holy story into the rest of her play…they walked side by side with the other “characters.” This struck me because, each year when Easter arrives, I struggle to find it’s center, it’s essence. This has been true since grad school, largely because I just don’t have the contemplative time now that I had then…and I mourn that loss. For some reason, though, Easter is a time that I can’t ever seem to set aside, to slow down and appreciate. Perhaps it’s the time of year, as well, but, with few exceptions, Easter sails by each year and leaves me on the other side wondering why I can’t find it.

I think that I see the answer in this morning’s events, because that is exactly what this faith is to be. Holidays are important observances, but I don’t for a moment believe in some arbitrary separation between the sacred and the secular, between a religious observance and the rest of the world. If the Christian faith means anything, it’s that entering into what is around us is the desired result, rather than moving away from it. I love that what was in those eggs…those symbols of the sacred for the young mind…were brought out to walk beside, and interact with, the rest of the characters around them, because it is that which Believers are to do.

Perhaps I can never see Easter because I’m always trying to look inside the eggs, when I should, in fact, be walking more amongst them.

Image attribution: Kate Ter Haar under Creative Commons.

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