As we tuck into our Easter eggs this morning have you ever stopped to wonder why we celebrate Easter? If you are Christian you may be thinking of course I know what it is all about. If you’re like me, who holds no religious affiliation, you might be thinking I do remember learning something about this in Primary School.
I have been taking some time to think about it this year because my kids are at an age where there might be some greater morale lesson I can impart. Some higher learning that doesn’t just involve a bunny and chocolate. What are the key messages I can pass onto them each year about Easter which might resonate in the future – without the religious overtone.
Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, two days after Good Friday, the day of his crucifixion. What interests me are the lessons from this story, really the Easter story in general – created to mourn the death of Jesus and celebrate his resurrection in only a few short days. It is an abstract story and difficult to interpret. Unlike other Christian celebrations this one is not straight forward but commands a large part of the basis of Christianity.
What I can decipher in my own simplistic interpretations is one teaching from his death and resurrection – forgiveness which intricately links to the concept of new life and rebirth.
Forgiveness for me it is summed up as a letting go of negative energies, allowing for a new beginning by acknowledging past mistakes and then looking forward with a different lens. It makes sense then that Easter festivities now include the Pagan tradition of egg giving; the simple egg being a symbol of new life dating back to the 13th century.
Yes, the egg has now somehow evolved into being delivered by a cute Bunny (maybe symbolic of fertility, they certainly know how to breed up big! Kind of makes sense) and instead of painted eggs we now have chocolate ones. The Easter holiday has certainly evolved. But there is a message there and I’m going to try my best to acknowledge it while we are scoffing down our Easter eggs this weekend.
At the heart of forgiveness is the acknowledgement of fault and the act of kindness. So for the first time this year I might utilise Easter as an opportunity to introduce the meaning of Easter by talking about Easter eggs to my 5 and 3 year old as kindness and forgiveness eggs. Both topics are a strong story line in our household which we are constantly talking about and I am always looking for opportunities to reinforce their importance.
So, in the lead up to Easter I’ll be working with two different coloured eggs; Blue for kindness and Green for forgiveness. Explaining to the boys that when the Easter bunny leaves blue and green eggs for them she is asking them to be kind and forgive people for their mistakes.
Of course, this seems pretty basic BUT it might just be a way to start the conversation each year and remind them of these two important qualities and hey if I can teach my kids to be kind through an Easter egg hunt, maybe I am halfway there.
Now, back to my wine.