What Easter Means to Me
Easter is one of those holidays that, ever since its initial ‘catching-on’, has really become a cohesive amalgam of far too many things that lead it further and further away from its ‘true meaning': Jellybeans. You see, Easter has the misfortune of falling during the ‘Spring’, and therefore has taken on the guise of that Pagan ritualistic celebration as well. Because as we all know, part of the Pagan rites of Spring is to litter the earth with plastic grass and prance around in chick and bunny costumes filling all the good little boys and girls baskets with Dollar Store trinkets. It’s steeped in a rich tradition, you cheeky naysayers. Ah, but there’s one more element that has, of late, taken a more back seat position in this clamoring for holiday supremacy, and his name is Jesus Christ. And I bet he’s not happy.
Poor Jesus. His life was a raw deal from the get go. Born on December 25th, did some stuff as a kid (that part’s a little hazy), and then began making miracles like they were going out of style. You see, as the Son of God you have every right to turn water into wine, heal the lame, prance across large bodies of water, create never ending food supplies from a halibut and a croissant… in fact, it’s kind of expected of you. I mean after all, Jesus didn’t parade around with a big wooden sign proclaiming himself the Messiah, that would have been silly. However, what he did do caught the eyes of those Government types who were none too keen on his pandering and good-deed-doing. And so, as in typical Government bureaucratic fashion, they killed him. Ah but if it was anything Jesus was at heart, it was a top notch sight-gag comedian. For after they crucified him and had his body removed and en-caved (with a giant boulder even! Like shackles on Houdini) he escaped and ascended to Heaven. Ta da! -Hey, I’m a Christian (and a damn good one) and I find no reason why humor can’t get a mix in once in a while.- And this, children, is Easter. Well, Easter to the Christians, at any rate.
See what I forgot to mention was that strewn all around the front of the cave in which our hero was entombed were a variety of differently colored eggs. No, seriously. Devout Christian believers (the bad guys at that point, in other words) would sneak out to the cave boulder and offer up gaudy hard-boiled eggs as a proof to their ever-living dedication to their Lord and Saviour. Okay, well maybe the Bible doesn’t specifically mention this part, but I can see no other reason why we do this on Easter. Even the Pagans shrug and shake their heads in confusion and they’re the ones who readily sever goat heads and dance nude under full moons.
So, what does Easter mean to me? Sadly, it means about as much to me as it’s opposite-year counterpart, Christmas: just not as much as it could. Don’t get me wrong, if the underlying theme was to be ‘all about family’, well, then that’s definitely something. But, beyond that, it’s still about, unfortunately, jellybeans. Growing up Methodist we attended church relatively regularly so it wasn’t like I was giving lip service to the Lord by just going on Christmas and Easter, but the fact still remained that we always had an egg hunt on the church grounds. What the hell? Pandering to the youth by offering up sleight of hand while Jesus waved from the left but the allure and excitement of plastic ovum packed with candy and nickels rattled sexily from the other. Egg’s 1 – Jesus 0. Sad really. Jesus (in the eyes of us Christian types) suffered, horribly, and died, on purpose, so we could be cleansed of our repetitive and awful sins. Jesus didn’t die so we could inundate the date with a thousand different chocolate bunny varieties and more jellybeans than you can shake a crook at. But, the fact still remains, it’s how I was raised and it’s how we do it with our kids. All I can hope for is, on that faithful day when I do finally come face to face with Jesus, he just finds this tragedy as comedic as I do. And maybe offers me jellybeans.
PS- I hope this didn’t sound too preachy. I don’t attend church anymore because I hate huge, conglomerate religious buildings. But I think God forgives me for that. How do I know? Because I can practically guarantee He didn’t need the millions of dollars it took to build them, that’s why.