March 23, 2008

Bunnies and eggs have nothing to do with Jesus

Christ the Lord is Risen Today—Alleluia!

During the children's sermon this morning, the pastor asked, "What's special about today?" Sure enough, one of the little ones piped up "the Easter bunny comes!"

My heart broke a little. This is a child from an ostensibly Christian home.

Earlier, a couple of the ladies lamented the fact that our church no longer has an Easter egg hunt. More children might be brought, they theorized, if we did.

Well, as one of the committee members who had a role in ending the practice, I for one don't care. I think parents should bring their children to church for discipleship training and for worship, not for pointless activities handed down from pagans.

Truly I tell you: Eggs and bunnies have nothing to do with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Even the word "Easter" has nothing to do with Jesus. It's derived from "Eostre," a pagan goddess whose festival was celebrated at the spring equinox. It's from that pre-Christian festival that we get those seasonal symbols that have nothing to do with resurrection. Eostre was a fertility goddess. (Rabbits. Eggs. Need I say more?)

Furthermore, "Easter" is the name of the holiday only in the Germanic languages. In Russian (Paskha), and in the Romance languages like Italian (Pasqua), the name is derived from the Greek "Pascha," which comes from the Hebrew "Pesach," Passover.

Better still are the Serbian (Vaskrs) and Croatian (Uskrs) names, which mean "Resurrection."

I wish we English-speaking Christians would abandon the word "Easter" in reference to our holy day, and call it Resurrection Sunday instead. Let's leave "Easter," along with the bunnies and eggs, to the pagans.

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