This morning, I was listening to the song “There is a name” by Sean Feucht. It has been on repeat with a personal dedication of the song and time to the season that we are in. With reflections on my mind, I picked my phone to send “Happy Easter” to someone as a response to her message and guess what my keyboard suggested to me? A rabbit!
As though it was planned, I got a broadcast at the same time from Heritage Bank which said “Happy Easter” but in that greeting, there was nothing Jesus about it. Yes, it had some motivations, it has some great design concepts that I might like to adopt later but it lacked meaning as regards the season. There was supposed to be a meaning to this celebration, there was supposed to be an indication of what we are celebrating and why we are celebrating it.
This is peculiar with every secular institution because “we don’t want to offend our Muslim or Atheist” customers. I understand it but I prefer they don’t send a greeting at all because it isn’t necessary if some people will be offended by it.
An hour later, I had an article ready for my blog. I went on free stock image websites looking for an appropriate representation of Easter to use as my “features image” but guess what? I was seeing eggs of various colours and rabbits. I forgot why I was there and started admiring rabbits. I love eggs too and have got some in my kitchen!
I love rabbits! Very beautiful creatures. They are my second favourite after cats. But hey, this is about Jesus and not some rabbits and eggs. I was bothered because I couldn’t find a single picture that portrayed the resurrection of Jesus, there was no indication of Jesus on the picture threads.
So, I decided to do a quick check on the origin of the word “Easter”. I had done that many years ago, but at that time, I had cloaks of religious sentiments over my eyes that I couldn’t see well. I didn’t want to be different or upset other persons. I didn’t want to sound like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I wasn’t one and didn’t want to be erroneously tagged as one. I had to let it be.
However, today was different! I didn’t understand why rabbits should pop up when I type Easter on my keyboard. The word ‘Easter’ had lots of controversies trailing behind it, many were arguing it’s pagan origin while few apologists were trying so hard to link it to Christianity.
What if my kid asks me about it after finding it’s origin from the encyclopedia? Is this how hard I should struggle to explain why it is called Easter? Using myself to know the kinds of kids I will have, I know for sure that they won’t take “don’t worry about it” for an answer.
There are obvious grey areas as regards to its origin and I don’t love grey areas especially where it is not necessary. I understood whatever might have happened then, I understand it may have been a way of taking advantage of whatever people celebrated at that time to promote Jesus but right now, it wasn’t working for my conscience.
So, today I made a decision. This decision may not go well with anyone who has an emotional attachment to religious traditions and terms. It is a personal decision that will run through my generation.
As we mark the resurrection of Jesus annually, I have chosen to do away with the word “Easter”. While you may still see them in my previous teachings and publications, I am stopping the usage of that term henceforth.
As much as eggs may represent new life, I am no longer comfortable sticking to things my Spirit finds troubling.
Now, I am not against the celebration but I have chosen to call it by the name that communicates the purpose to me. I have chosen to know it for what it is… Resurrection Day.
It is true that the Calendar may not be correct but I want to always be able to join other Christians in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. The difference between my celebration and others, however, maybe that there are no eggs, no rabbits, probably no much partying and no Easter. I would still respect whatever anyone wants to call it and never be judgemental but for me, I am done with Easter.
Resurrection Days for me is usually very emotional days, I spend it studying, writing, praying and listening to some soul-touching collections from bands whose lyrics communicate to me deeply. I celebrate this day by getting deeper in intimacy with Jesus, I think through all he has done for me and love on him. It doesn’t mean I don’t do it other days, but I always dedicate The Resurrection Day for a special of the special times with Jesus.
As long as I live and as long as I consciously try not to slip tongue, it will remain THE RESURRECTION DAY to me and my entire household! It will be for us a day of collectively going through the archives, singing through the realities and teaching others to do the same.
What comes to mind when I hear “The Resurrection Day”? It is not the white rabbits or the coloured eggs but an empty tomb and a resurrected Jesus. This makes more sense to me and allows me to stick to the purpose of this beautiful remembrance.
Happy Resurrection Day!