I would like to say that I have written something new for this Easter but I cannot. With my keyboard giving me fits of rage because some of the keys have decided to be a pain and not work every time I hit them I felt I would perhaps be here until Memorial Day typing it out. Instead, I would like to share this older piece that I had stashed in my files and have shared with some of you before. I hope that you will enjoy it just the same.
I believe it was around Christmas time when I told you about the attacks on that holiday and that I was sure it was only a matter of time before they were after the rest of the Christian holidays. Well I hate to tell you I told you so, but I told you. Just the other day I heard of some county employee tearing down a happy Easter banner and tossing the display of an Easter basket with plastic grass and eggs into the trash. While last year there were department stores that had banned the Easter Bunny from their stores. I don’t know about you but I always thought that we were supposed to have been taught tolerance and respect for other people’s religious beliefs and cultural ideas?? I guess it is just another case of its all okay unless it is the cultural and religious beliefs of Christianity! You all know that I am not one to preach about beliefs but maybe it’s time that I did, maybe it’s time that I stand up and tell you the story of Easter. Last year I delved into the origins of the name Easter and some probable beginnings and where some of the traditions that we celebrate come from. I was thinking that I should spend more time on the religious meaning of Easter this year, then thought better of it as I don’t quite feel qualified to spend a few thousand words on that side of the subject. Although I do think it wise that I at least tip my hat to that and perhaps in my own way talk just a little about it. (Insert evil laugh here)
In the meantime, my new traditional Easter dinner of a ham and cheese sandwich held up again last year. I watched once again as families pour into or out of church. I had to smile at the spectacle of all the little boys in pressed suits looking all uncomfortable pulling at their shirt collars. I smiled too at the little girls in their frilly dresses, trying not to let their brothers or sisters trip them up and get all dirty. I am sure however that more than one of them succeeded in doing just that, no doubt catching the wrath of their parent or grandparent. What is it about being dressed up that no one truly likes, especially when we are younger. Could it be that we just don’t like to impress anyone anymore? Have we ever? It seems to me that it is a waste of time if in fact we are dressing to impress God. I mean after all hasn’t he seen us or doesn’t he see us when we are at our worst? I would think that it was a waste of time to get all dressy one day a week or once a year to impress him. Hmm I guess I do have some points to ponder for Easter.
Easter is a time for celebration the return of spring and the resurrection Christ. While yes we as Christians adopted many pagan rituals for this holiday, mostly for the children the Easter egg, Easter bunny, Easter candy, even the word Easter itself. It would seem that they above all have been the predominate points of any attack. It is through these rituals that many of us have learned of the greater reason for this holiday. As I sit here and think of it I am actually surprised and amazed at how we as an early civilization took to and were taught about something we knew little if nothing about. How better to teach someone about a new religion than by using the ideas and rituals they already know of and have practiced.
I say bravo to all that have insisted on attacking each holiday on its symbols I say keep it up. Keep trying to take away the symbols and before you know it the only thing left is that with which you disagree or claim to disagree with. You don’t suppose that those that would destroy your right to practice your religion are only succeeding in attacking the symbols of it and not the holiday in which they disagree with? Would they do that here in this country that was set up to recognize other religions. A country, whose laws are based on the laws of two religions, a country based primarily on that of the Christian religion. Here where we as Americans are supposed to recognize everyone’s right to believe any way they wished. Here in America where it is increasingly becoming near criminal to show our heritage and pride in our own country and Christian religion; yes they are. Again I say let them. The more they attack it the stronger it becomes. The more they attack the more awake and aware others will become. Have I lost you yet, I think I may have lost myself somewhere along the way. In that case how about a little fun, shall we …
I am beginning to think that we are forgetting something or is it that we are all doubting our faith in God and Jesus why else would we want to tear down its symbols and ancient rituals and rites perhaps every good Friday we should place a cross in our yards and for Easter take it down just before we have the egg hunts. For Palm Sunday we could line our sidewalks with palm branches and the like. Yes I think that is what our problem is as a nation. We are having doubts about who we are as a people and doubt in or about our faith. It is no wonder with the growing list of politically correct language we are to use when it comes to our religious holidays. Makes me wonder a bit what would be said if we were to change…, well for another time perhaps.
After all didn’t Jesus doubt his faith and his father just a few short hours before he was nailed to that cross? Didn’t he question what was happening to him when he was up there, “Why does thou forsake me?” Another words what the *&&^T*&%$ is going on, you told me it would be okay and now this. Anyway, this day, this Easter day isn’t about his death it is about his resurrection. Hmm maybe, if I can only…. What you were thinking I was only kidding about the evil laugh? You don’t know me very well then do you?
“Hey, just what do you think you were doing up there on that cross?”
“What?” calls unsteady voice? “Who are you?”
“Who do you think I am?”
“Duh! Who else do you know that can give light in this tomb?”
“Well, now that you mention it you could tone it down a bit I have been dead you know.”
“Oh stop it… come on its time for you get out of here so that you can finish your work.”
“What, dying wasn’t enough for you?”
“I hope that’s just sarcasm. Do you think I came down here to listen to you complain? No, I didn’t, I came down here to wake you up. You were supposed to have been out of here yesterday. Now I have to face everyone and tell them that they have to change things because my son wanted to sleep in, thought he needed his beauty sleep or something. And yes of course there is more work that you must do. You need to show yourself, to your friends and some of your followers. They need to see that you are good to your word and that by following your teachings that they too will live forever. After all how many chess games do you think I can have with Adam before I want to yank out another one of his ribs. If Eve would leave him alone long enough I think he just might have something original to say… what was I thinking, go forth and multiply. I didn’t mean they had to do it eight times a day like rabbits for crying out loud. I meant for rabbits to multiply faster for food and to help clothe them. Noah, all he wants to do is build boats and count animals. Who told him he could build boats, if it wasn’t for me that ark he built wouldn’t have floated four days let alone as long as it did. Moses sits around all day parting rain clouds and everybody’s drinks. Do you know what it’s like trying to take a sip of wine while it’s… oh never mind. I need some normal people up there you know not all obsessed with one or two things in the afterlife. I admit that it might have been my own fault by not doing this earlier or at the very least chosen more to follow me and do my bidding and teach of me for their eternal life. Finally, when I thought I had it all figured out I give them you, you give your life teaching those that will follow you and in turn me and offer them eternal life through your death and a cleansing of their sins. Everyone knows I couldn’t flood them out again, not after making that promise. Maybe I should have done it any way; you know an, oops my bad kind of thing. No I had to make some old Jewish prophecy come true oh sure it was one that admittedly I put forward, but I had no real intention of giving into it. At least not yet anyway, but I had a little too much wine and the rest was written. A virgin mother what was I thinking. I should have known that it was going to be a little too hard for anyone to take. After all who would believe such a thing, a pregnant virgin? What was I thinking?”
“Um, are you always like this?” Jesus interrupted. “I mean if all you’re ever going to do is complain about what you can and can’t do or shouldn’t have done I am not so sure I want to come with you.”
“Just do as I tell you and what the prophecies have foretold and you and I will get along just great. After all this time you would think that I would have learned.”
“Well, you should at least have given up complaining about it by now.”
Jesus rises from his spot and pulls the shroud from his body.
“Where do you think you’re going,” God asked.
“What, you mean to tell me that you have been complaining about me just sitting here and now that I am up and moving around you want to know where I’m going?”
“I suppose you have a point there. All right at least let me move the stone back for you.”
“I would hope you would do something to help out.”
God raised his right eyebrow as Jesus laughs at his father. God raised a hand and the stone rolled away from the opening of his sons’ tomb.
“Just where am I supposed to go now?” Jesus asks but as he turns to look, his father is not there. “What, where, oh great first I die and now I know I must be seeing things. Takes away the only light and leaves me alone in the dark. How am I supposed to move that stone back anyway? Oh, who cares no one will notice or care anyway. At least it’s dark still and I have a chance to get out here unseen.”
So to you my friends and family and family of friends before I ‘go straight to hell for that one’; I ask that you embrace the holiday, that you accept it in all its forms. Hide the eggs for your children or perhaps just for yourself. Grab the plastic grass and all the chocolate Easter bunnies you can stand and don’t forget the jelly beans. Walk into church with your best Easter clothes and do as they used to do after church and parade up and down the avenue in an Easter Parade. And when those idiots come and want to take away another one of your holidays thumb your nose at them and show them where they can get off. I say perhaps it’s time to let the lawsuits fly. When the time is right grab your Easter hunny (no that isn’t a typo) hold them tight and let everyone see you as you walk out into the night or afternoon which ever you decide. Make sure too that you fill your glass with your beverage of choice so you can raise it up and offer a toast. I think I can let you figure out to whom. Finally may Easter always find you looking forward to rebirth.