Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Fertility Festival

Confused?  Well that is technically what the name "Easter" means (according to some sources).  I realize none of us set up shrines to Ishtar or do pagan dances to increase our fertility.  But how much of our celebration of Jesus Christ's Resurrection and Victory over Sin & Death does get lost in translation?

That is the very question I am asking myself as I try to be a good father to my five year old twins and one month old.  I would love your thoughts on this topic and want to emphasize what I am NOT trying to do here. 

I am NOT trying to judge people, I am NOT trying to disparage my childhood, and I am NOT trying to encourage commenting participants to argue with one another.

This is a passionate topic for many on both sides of the talking points.  I am one that would really appreciate your point of view, regardless of which position you hold to.  My research has led to some discrepancies on just how it was that bunnies and eggs joined the story of Christ in the first place.  Paganism seems to be the most blamed source as new Gentile converts to Christianity wanted to continue holding fast to their former celebrations and festivals while being baptized into their new-found faith.  But even this seems to be under some scrutiny and possibly just undeserved finger pointing.  And its beside the point for me anyway...

While it would be nice to know for certain how peanut butter got into my chocolate, the point is it got there.  I can either eat this new-found creation and hope its as good as an actual Reese's Cup or possibly lose out on a more genuine experience by solely focusing on Christ and cutting out the add-ons.  Its difficult to know what the best course of action is.

Please watch the corresponding video and give me your two cents!!


Anonymous said...

Easter does have a lot of roots with older religions. It's an interesting topic and by conversing on such I hope it doesn't cause anyone any discord.
The older religions were in place to set a standard of not only morale but safety. Sabbots and ceremonies were held at times honoring the sun, the moon, and the changing seasons- (in pagan terms the wheel of life.
The spring equinox has been celebrated in many different ways all through out history as a means to have a good planting season.
There are many different names for the holiday (holy day). That also plays into the whole fertility thing. Spring fever and terms like that don't come from nowhere. Spring is the time for fertility. Plants are blooming, and the ground is fertile. People back then thought this a good indicator that women would be more fertile as well and implemented such traditions as dying eggs and eating them for fertility. The rabbit is a fertile animal hence the term (and excuse my language "f#@k like rabbits").
Hope this is helpful. Love ya!

Melissa said...

Funny...we were just discussing this tonight at our Bible study. I think the general concensus was that these add-ons were not harmful as long as the focus was still on Christ.

For Easter, I no longer get as excited about the candy as I am an adult and can buy and eat candy whenever I please. I also don't think that getting excited about that as a child hindered my current appreciation of the holiday. To me Granny's "He is risen" made a much longer, stronger impact on my personal meaning of the holiday than the Easter bunny ever could have. My children know more about the story of Easter than I ever remember knowing and I am hoping that that holds them closer to Christ throughout their lives. I read them books explianing the reason for Easter. The school they go to is a big help, too. You should hear Layla sing "Were you de-a, when day cwucified my Word?" (she's 2 for those of you that don't know).

For Christmas, I also make sure that my children know that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday. I have Lauren help me pick out the gifts to fill the shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Another mother has her children pick out one of the gifts they recieved to donate. Other moms said they bake a cake for Jesus and since Jesus is only there in spirit, everyone gets to open the gifts, as he is a gift to us.

The Easter bunny and Santa Clause don't necessarily need to be viewed as the enemy. As long as we don't praise or worship them I don't think we have committed any sin. We can still give and recieve gifts in celebration, but it is our responsibility as parents to be sure that our children know that it is in celebration of Christ, not of fairy tales. Don't worry, any emotional investment our children have in the Easter bunny and Santa Clause will totally disappear as they grow older and realize we are they, but Jesus will always remian in their hearts. I would say that is what matters most.

Craig V said...

I give NO credence to any man-centered excuses -
The meaning of life is to Glorify our Creator. If it does not Glorify God then it glorifies the Flesh.

To me even the littlest of pagan rituals is a spit in the face of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, who died so that we may live in eternal peace beyond this existence; It is to reject His very first and second Commandments! This would be the message to my kids.

We all are at different places in our regenerative walk in Christ - the question is, are we always striving to put God first?

Jim, I discern that you are rising in stride along your regenerative walk - I see no hypocrisy here, only enlightenment. We are not responsible for our parents and parenting, nor what the Flesh generates around us, yet we bare the burden of who we are today and who we proclaim as Lord above all else. Being reborn in Christ is gaining the wisdom to see beyond this existence and time.

Put God first and praise Him above all things brother, teach your children well the meaning of life!

BTW - I celebrate Resurrection Day ;)