Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Eve is Christmas Eve for Adults

     Do you remember the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve as a kid? Many folks were raised in a religious tradition that emphasized the incarnation of Jesus, and yet whatever your background, we can all remember the excitement of Christmas Eve not being so much about the baby Jesus, but about PRESENTS! The excitement of knowing there would be gifts in the morning to be unwrapped almost made it impossible to sleep.

     What Christmas Eve is for kids – anticipation, excitement, joy – the Easter Vigil held on Easter Eve is for adults. Adults have been through the reality of death in our world. All of us have experienced the sorrow and devastation of losing someone without whom the world will never be the same. We as adults have lived long enough to have seen evil. The worst of it is recognizing true evil exists twined around inside each of us. We have lived; we have seen real pain; we have tasted loss, despair, regret. Easter Eve isn't for kids... it's for those of us who have lived long enough to want a different kind of present. It’s no longer that shiny bike or the new train set under the Christmas tree which fills our dreams. Instead, we dream of resurrection, life, hope – the redemption of regained innocence in this tired, cynical world – a second chance. The gift of Easter is the present adults really want and need.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chocolate Crosses for Easter?!

     Clergy have long struggled with the secularization of Easter. Many priests feel that things like the Easter egg hunt and someone in a bunny costume takes away from the true message of Easter: the resurrection of Jesus. Well, maybe, but like a true Anglican, I have always fallen on the rather wishy-washy side. I guess it could vaguely be described as the “Oh-for-goodness-sakes-the-kids-and-parents-love-the-Easter-egg-hunt-and-maybe-it’ll-get-them-in-church” side.

     I have, however, recently realized even I, progressive and liberal as they come, have my limits. I was introduced to my boundaries courtesy of the Hershey Chocolate Company and my local grocery store. In a no doubt well-intentioned move to answer more conservative Christian concerns and infuse a little religion into the secular, Hershey’s has come out with the chocolate Easter cross (in white or milk chocolate). So instead of biting off those chocolate bunny ears, children can now munch on a piece of Jesus’ cross. Am I the only one kind of creeped out by this?