When I was a kid there was two Christian holidays I would go buck wild over: Christmas and Easter. I remember the days leading up to Christmas looking at the sky trying to determine and hoping that we would have a white Christmas. I remember the days leading up to Christmas looking around the house to determine where Santa Claus had hid my toys. I reasoned Santa had to bring my brother and sisters stuff a little early because we didn’t have a chimney for him to climb down on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day my brother and sisters would get early to go downstairs to the Christmas tree to unwrap our gifts. Oh what a joy unwrapping Christmas gifts with mu brother and sisters was! I never knew a disappointing Christmas. I would hurry to get dressed just to go outside and find my neighborhood friends to tell and show them how good Santa had been to me this year. On the days leading up to Easter, the next big holiday for me, my mother would tell my father the kids needed new Easter outfits. I remember my father complaining about money, maybe that is why I complain about money when my wife asks me, but my mother would always get the money she needed to take us shopping. Going Easter shopping for new outfits with my mother was a joy for me. I felt like a big shot, like I was somebody important. I would get a fancy bright new suit, shirt and tie that matches in color scheme and print, colorful socks and more often than not new shiny black shoes. Come Easter morning we would dress in our new outfits and the runway type fashion show was on. We walked around the church like peacocks in our new and bright outfits. I was always amazed of the number of people that came to church on Easter but we would not see them the following Sunday. But Easter would not be Easter without Easter Monday. That was the day of the Easter egg hunt where the adults placed colorful dyed boiled eggs around the church grounds for the kids to find. After tearing up the church’s lawn and flowerbeds looking for boiled eggs, we would go inside for chocolate candy. Did I forget the Easter basket? Oh yeah, the colorful Easter basket filled with colorful eggs and chocolate candy. During Easter morning service the kids would recite memorized Scriptures to the delight of the mothers of the church. I always had the most difficult Scripture to remember. All the mothers of the church would come to me afterwards to commend me and give me a sloppy wet kiss on the cheeks for doing a fine job. Yuck! I have nothing but fond memories of my young days in the church and with my family during Christmas and Easter. I was always safe, well-fed, amply clothed, warm in the winter, cool in the summer, dry, mentored with love, encouraged to excel, and loved as a son.
Now let’s fast forward to 2015, I am no longer a child. I am now a preacher/teacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ so let me teach. Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names Oestre and Eastre. Oestre and Eastre are also known as Ostara. Oestre, Eastre, and Ostara are fertility goddesses. The female drug estrogen is derived from the name Eastre. Myth has it that the fertility goddess will help plants (farmer’s crops), the birth of babies both animal and human. In an agricultural society these goddess’ represented wealth and prosperity. The rabbit, known for its propensity to reproduce was the sacred animal of Ostara. As a man prospered in crops he was able to feed his family and sell excess crops to satisfy other family wants and needs. More sons represented free labor to help out on the farm. Daughters represented not only free labor during their youth but potential dowry when they were of age to marry. Another fertility goddess of note is Ishtar. Spring celebration of the goddess Ishtar was through Easter eggs and the Easter bunny.
I no longer celebrate Easter. Why? When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, and I made plans like a child. When I became a man, I stopped those childish ways (1 Corinthians 13:11). I now celebrate Resurrection Sunday, the holiest of holy days for Christians. It is because of what Jesus did for you and me that we have a chance for Eternal life. An Easter bunny has nothing to do with my Salvation. Stop celebrating Easter. Rejoice in the knowledge that it was the love of Jesus that kept him on that Cross: not the nails. It was Jesus’ trust in His Holy Father that raised Him from the dead early on the Third Day with all Power in His hands. I celebrate that trust, as I know with all certainty that I can trust Holy Father as well. I celebrate the Resurrection Power, as I know that I have that same Power to overcome the wiles of satan. I celebrate the Resurrection because it is because of that Resurrection I will not experience the second death. I am made alive through Christ Jesus!