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Fireside Topic: Do you celebrate Easter out of tradition or conviction?

bible“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.'” – The Bible, ESV, Luke 24:1-7

Tomorrow is Easter and many families will do many traditional things. First, the Easter Bunny will come, then the family goes to church (even if you don’t really want to), dressed up in their new Easter clothes, trying to look their best on this holiday. When they come home there will be a feast of ham, mashed potatoes and\or sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs (kind of ironic), and the like. At least, those are the kinds of things we traditionally eat here in the South.

Many people will do this without really thinking “Why?” Why do we have an egg carrying bunny mixed in with the resurrection of Christ, the Son of God? Why do we eat the same foods every year? Why do I dress up when I go to church on this day? Why do I go at all?

Traditions can be good, as long as they are serving their intended purpose: to remind us of something in the past we ought not forget. Traditions can be bad when they lose their meaning and purpose and become just something we do. There is nothing manly about just going through the motions of life. A man takes account of what he does and why. If he sees that it doesn’t make sense or he is in disagreement with it he makes his own way, even if it means breaking with tradition and disappointing family.

This year we decided that the  Easter Bunny would come on the first day of spring rather than Easter. We got the idea from the children’s book, Folk Tales Children Love written in 1934, which is one of my wife’s favorite books from her childhood. It tells the story of a Bunny that comes and tells the children Spring has arrived. He comes around Easter time which is why he is called the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Rabbit 1934

The Easter Rabbit from Folk Tales Children Love, 1934

“Spring has come. Spring has come,” they called to one another. “See here are the rabbits footprints. The good bunny came to tell us that Spring is here.”

That makes more sense to me and allows me to celebrate Easter Sunday focused on the resurrection of Christ. Also, I am pretty ticked that someone decided to combine two holidays into one?! I don’t like getting gypped out of a holiday!

Here are some questions we should ask ourselves when we start down a traditional road:

  • What is the meaning of how we celebrate?
  • How can I restore that meaning if it is lost?
  • Am I lying by going through the motions with something I don’t believe in?

 

Have a wonderful and happy Easter!

 

- Fireside Topic articles are interesting topics to get men talking. Find a few friends and throw a question out there and see what develops. Read more here. -

 

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