Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Egg Hunt Righteousness

It is Springtime and it is NOT supposed to be 33 degrees in April. Especially for an early morning Easter Egg Hunt at Community Presbyterian Church. The boys had fun. Apparently, they do not have the disdain for the cold weather as their mother. They are actually playing outside right now... without coats.

I have an unreasonable dislike for Easter Eggs. Don't get me wrong. I have glorious memories of Easter as a child. My mother does holidays in a big way and Easter was no different. My sister and I (and sometimes cousins) would dye dozens of boiled eggs the day before Easter. Mom and Dad would hide the Easter baskets on Sunday morning and we would eat chocolate for breakfast. Easter dresses and shiny, new black patent leather shoes ( I still love the smell of new patent leather) were donned and then we were trooped off to church. After church, there was the glorious family lunch with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents everywhere. And then the Easter Egg Hunt. The grownups would count the eggs first (usually between 300 and 400 eggs) and then the children were placed in a room with curtains drawn. That wait was FOREVER. Then the children would find the eggs. It was such a great day. I always did wonder why eggs, ducks, chicks, and bunnies had anything to do with Jesus being raised from the dead, but whatever.

And then I found about Ishtar, the pagan god of fertility. People would pray to Ishtar for their own fertility and he was represnted by chickens and bunnies and whatever else was fertile. Resurrection Day coincided with the Ishtar season and over the years just kinda lumped together. What? WHAT? I was very annoyed and even outraged at this subtle collision with the sacred holiday of Easter. or Resurrection Day. I vowed never, NEVER, to celebrate again the pagan god of Ishtar. Can you picture me standing with my righteous fist in the air and maybe standing on cliff overlooking a sea of Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies? It's beautiful.

And then I had children. At first, it had been relatively easy to avoid doing anything. Corin was little and then Silas was little and they didn't really get it. And then there came an Easter egg hunt before Easter that I would just call egg hunts. And we would hide plastic eggs around the house for weeks after. It was all very deliberate and I had still had my cramping fist in the air with righteousness. Two years ago, when I was pregnant with Felix, we were invited to the Clayton's for Easter and we had a blast. And an Easter egg hunt. And there was lots of chocolate. And a yummy roasted lamb (don't we all love that Maja's family were European immigrants and she has these wonderful European recipes?). Anyway, last year we got the boys Easter presents (no baskets, though) and we went to the Clayton's for Easter fun. This year I have purchased candy to make a basket (Cadberry eggs, yum) to surprise the boys on Easter morning. We will have an egg hunt with the Claytons and the Boykins and the dozens of other people that will be around the houses tomorrow. It will be fun. hmmm, what is my fist doing up in the air?

I have failed in my own righteousness. Again. I do feel guilty, but mostly because others have seen how I have failed. Why was I doing it in the first place? My first intentions were good, but then it turned into how much better I was than everyone else. I struggle so much with my own pride. It frustrates me. Why does my flesh desire to kill me?

Tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday. There is grace and I am in need of it. I am vain and prideful and full of judgement. The gospel is the reason we are here. Encouraging and holding each other accountable to our Maker. Hide a few eggs. They're just eggs. Ishtar never existed anyway. The gospel is what it is all about. I want my children to understand the gospel and why they need it. I want them to tell their children the gospel and why they need it. That is my purpose: to glorify Christ and enjoy Him forever. He is Risen!


Abbey said...

Amen sister to Resurrection day! And to Easter baskets (or easter spatterware buckets as we do in our house...long time family tradition)and chocolate candy and egg hunts. I've already filled the boys' to the top and I can't wait to see their excitement as they tear into them!!
I loved this blog. Your honesty makes me happy. Yay you.

Oh, by the way...good job for the running! I would be happy to give you any input, though I'm not an expert, but I do enjoy it and have learned a few things along the way!! I loved the cold this morning for the very reason of running...did 9 miles. But by the time I got to Ando's baseball game at 9am, I was FREEZING!!!

Jennifer said...

I loved that. I am so with you. I have no problem with others abstaining from the Easter egg hunt thing, but detest when I feel like I'm being viewed as pagan for even doing a resurrection egg story. I keep remembering that man looks on the outward appearance, but God knows our hearts, and that our goal is to celebrate Him. It may just involve boiled eggs when we do. :-)