Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Easter or Resurrection Day?

We've been giving lots of thought lately as to what we are going to do this April 16th. As the heart of my home, it is incumbent upon me to think these things through and discuss them with my husband and see what he would prefer to do. So, I've been doing some research.

A few years ago, we saw nothing wrong with celebrating "Easter." We blindly followed in our society's footsteps (and unbeknownst to us, the ancient world's occultic practices) and laid the candy eggs outside our children's doors, making a trail to the much-anticipated baskets sitting on the hearth waiting to be broken into and devoured before going to church.

Shortly after we started homeschooling, we began to question what we were doing. Where did this holiday "Easter" come from and what did all of its trappings have to do with Jesus' death and resurrection? Was it biblical? We knew, of course, that commemorating Jesus' resurrection was biblical, but were we honoring Him in our observance of it? What were we teaching our children about this, the holiest of all days for a true believer?

Some of the answers came quickly... others way too slowly. What we realized is that the church is involved in some very destructive syncretism here... more than that, the church is involved in practices that are no more glorifying to God than a pastor who has an affair, or any other number of gross and heinous sins that we see in our day. Pagan and occultic practices are so closely-linked to the holiday—from the bunny, to the eggs, to the name Easter itself—that the church should drop it altogether. We, as the mothers we are called to be, MUST think this through and realize that to train up godly children, we cannot allow the practices of the seed of the serpent into our homes or our lives for even one nanosecond—in any way shape or form.

A quick Google search on 'Easter' and 'pagan' will turn up dozens of links that would help anyone trying to understand what the Easter holiday is all about, what it actually represents AND worships.

I found this link from ChristianAnswers.net very helpful (and heavily footnoted):

Where did "Easter" get its name? Where did the concept of an Easter egg and bunny originate?

I'll bet that if you didn't know all that information before, you are appalled now and ready to change your practice. Let's proceed:

Where does this leave us when it comes to focusing with our children upon the true meaning of this day? How are we to establish traditions around the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Whose finished work on the cross for us is what gives us life and breath?

We had to change things—drastically—but not as a knee-jerk reaction to what our society and, unfortunately, the church at large, does. Rather, this is a clarification of who we really are: the bride whose Husband gave His life for her. It is a chance to study, to learn, to HONOR the One Who did it all for us; to live simply, separately, and deliberately for Christ.. and teach our children to do the same. (Psalm 78:1-8)

So, here is what we have come up with. I would LOVE to hear your comments, suggestions, and ideas on this issue as we are still in the process of making this the most special day of the year for our children, albeit keeping it VERY simple.

We will, along with our church, be fasting (not the children, unless they choose to on their own) from Good Friday until Resurrection Day morning. We will be reading the story of the crucifixion and the resurrection with our dear friends, the Powells. On Saturday evening, we will watch Messiah: Prophecy Fulfilled and then make Resurrection Day cookies with our children.

  • Resurrection Day cookies recipe is featured on my recipes blog.

  • The recipe includes all of the scriptures needed to tell the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. We'll leave the cookies in the oven (the "sealed tomb") overnight. When we get up Sunday morning, we'll remove the "seal" from the tomb, take the cookies out, give one to everyone, and tell them to take a bite to break our fast. When they bite into the cookie, the children realize that it is hollow inside... just as Jesus' tomb was! What a great visual way to teach our children of the MIRACLE that we celebrate this day! And, hey, they get to tell everybody that they get cookies for breakfast on Resurrection day... homemade ones to boot!

    After Lord's Day worship—which will be a time of great elation because the children REALLY understand why they are worshipping that day—we will feast with the Powells. Lots of great food, fellowship, and fun to remember and celebrate Jesus' victory over Death.

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