Do any other christians out there feel that easter is too downplayed by society? I personally am sick of it being about easter eggs, candy and a big bunny instead of family, and most importantly Jesus. What do you think? How do you celebrate this important day?
mshell I agree fully with you. I know our pagan customs are so deeply ingrained into our culture to ever change, but Christians do not have to participate in their holidays.
Estar was a pagen goddess of fertility, whose symbols were rabbits, because of their rapid mating and birthing, eggs, and the lily flower. Also, the pagens worshipped the sun. Their custom of prostrating before the rising springtime sun. The goddess of light, Eastre or Ostera, was identified with the rising sun.
Throughout the Middle Ages, this pagan custom was continued, "A universal celebration was held in the Middle Ages at the hour of sunrise. According to an old legend, the sun dances on Easter morning or makes three cheerful jumps at the moment of rising, in honor of Christ's Resurrection...All over Europe people would gather in open plains or on the crests of hills to watch the spectacle of sunrise on Easter Day. The moment of daybreak was marked by the shooting of cannon and the ringing of bells... In most places the crowds would pray as the sun appeared...From this medieval custom dates our modern SUNRlSE SERVICE held by many congregations in this country on Easter Sunday" (Weiser, The Easter Book, pp. 158 -- 159).
Plainly, then, today's Easter has its roots deep in ancient paganism -- centuries before the birth of the Messiah -- and its rites have scarcely changed.
I hate to tell you this, but the tradition of the bunny and eggs at this time of year predates the Christian celebration of Jesus resurrection, and they are just as much a part of Easter culture as the religious stuff. Before Europeans converted to Christianity, the spring equinox was celebrated with symbols of fertility. Rabbits, who breed really well, and eggs are both such symbols. When Europeans did convert, they turned their traditional pagan holidays into religious holidays. Hence, the fall equinox becoming Halloween, or Hallowed Eve, the winter solstace becoming Christmas, etc.
However, just because the pagan meanings disappeared did not mean the pagan symbols were thrown out. They were celebrated and used, but with religious purposes. So, that's why you still have Christmas trees and pumpkins...and Easter bunnies.
I think it's a shame that we attempt to downplay the pagan aspects of these holidays just because we live in a Christian nation. It's interesting to study the history of our holidays and why we celebrate them, and what they really used to mean.
We each have a choice, to make, as to how we will live our lives. What we allow into them, and what we keep out. What we do, is our witness to the world around us.
The bible says that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
We would be astounded to see exactly how many people truly watch our lives.
What we do, is powerfully important.
We are Gods voice in the world, his hands, etc.
He has created the world, and given it to us, to take care of.
What we do affects future generations.
We are his light in a dying world.
We are to let that light shine.
How we do it, is as numerous as the stars that shine.
As for me and my house, WE will serve the Lord.
Here is the thing. If you don't like the way it's celebrated in public and in other people's homes, you're going to have to deal with it. Not everyone is a Christian, and they shouldn't be. Missionaries kill off interesting cultures and religions. Just because Easter is generalized in public, doesn't mean you should complain. Christmas and Easter are based at the same exact time as Pagan holidays, so expect seasons to be celebrated rather than the religious holiday, since everyone can celebrate nature's changes. Honestly, if you don't like the lack of "religious meaning" in Easter, I'm sorry, but you have to take care of that yourself, in private or at your place of worship.
I think that Easter is what you make of it. And the different people above clearly enjoy celebrating it in different ways, which is fine. For me, one of the things I've always most enjoyed about celebrating as a Christian is making a miniature Easter Garden. We made three this year in my family, with crosses and some little stone and moss caves for the tomb. Then we roll the stone away on Easter Day and celebrate! It's a good way for children to learn the Easter story, and for families to pray together. If I can, I put the Easter Garden in a front window or something, so that other people can see it too.
I don't believe the traditions harm the truth. Our church has a huge to-do every year with a candy hunt. It's a great way to get visitors, and because a lot of them are so young we have a wonderful way to share the news at an early age. In just my class there were an extra six kids to teach. I'd say as long as we are able to use the traditions to teach our progeny, we should embrace them.
I am no longer a Christian but I"ve always felt that Easter is too downplayed in the Christian community. You see people getting all up in arms every year about Christmas but you rarely hear a peep about Easter. Every is born and everyone dies but if you really believe that Jesus somehow rose from the dead to save you, then surely that day is the day above all others.
Even so, it still provides an opportunity t pass this message: 'He is Risen' - not much but He can do wonders with 'not much' - show me, so very Thankful for 'DAY 3' !!
well my family isnt religious so its pretty much a day of getting chocolate to eat and a holiday so thats much better!
I just stay home posibble recive gifts. think about jesus and how he died for our sins!
Embracng paganism is not teaching the truths of Christ.