For many in our culture, Sunday’s Easter celebration was focused on hollow chocolate bunnies, children hunting dyed eggs hidden in wet clumps of grass, and mountains of Peeps, jelly beans all with explanations of spring, “new life”, bullfrogs and butterflies.
Christians have landed all over the map when it comes to Easter celebrations. For the Planks, the Easter Bunny has been relegated to the status of “no such thing”. Over the years, it’s been humorous (and a tad embarrassing at times) to overhear my children take it upon themselves to spread the sobering news that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus are flat-out frauds.
Brenda and I have sought to make certain in our children’s minds that Christmas and Easter are opportunities for us to remember Jesus (2Tim 2:8), pure and simple. At Easter-time, though baskets of candy and egg-hunts have often become a part of our experience, I endeavor to make sure my little ones know that this is the day on our calendar that helps us remember that Jesus arose from the dead in power and glory!
I realize that the importance of Easter tradition and celebration differs from one Christian family to another, and I’m okay with that. It is not appropriate to make law of one’s traditions, nor is it appropriate to condemn another man’s traditions if they are not out of step with the gospel of grace. These things really do fall in the order of “Christian liberty”, to which the Apostle Paul declares:
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. (Rom. 14:5-8)
As long as Jesus Christ is remembered and celebrated for all his glory, and so long as the traditions we hold to (or lack thereof) are reflective of the gospel we profess – our holidays, celebrations and observances will honor His name!