I have been surprised to see a number of blog posts related to Easter. I had expected this holiday to go largely unmentioned. As I contemplated the approach of Easter I thought of some interesting comparisons between our treatment of Easter and our treatment of Christmas in society. Especially interesting to me were the comparisons of what is being celebrated with each of these holidays. I had hoped to post this before Easter was past, but that obviously didn’t happen.
Nothing I say should be construed to imply that I have anything against Christmas. I love Christmas and the Christmas season – especially as it adjoins Thanksgiving and stretches to New Years. The Christmas season provides about two months of excitement during a time which can be miserable in other ways (stormy, dark, cold).
The thought that really struck me was that Christmas should be more grandly celebrated than Easter. As I thought about it it makes no sense that the Christian world would find more to celebrate in the birth of Christ than in His resurrection. Without Easter the birth of our Savior would be no better than the birth of Ghandi – it brought a noticeable measure of good to the world, but its impact would still be limited. The miracle of Christmas actually took place months earlier because it was the conception that was miraculous. As far as we are told, the actual birth was not significantly different than any other live birth.
The miracle of the life of Christ was that He promised that death was not the end for mankind. That promise came to fruition with His resurrection, which is what Easter is supposed to commemorate. Even for those who do not believe in the gospel of Christ or that there is life after death, the idea behind this celebration must be compelling.
One of the hallmarks of the Christmas season is the giving of gifts to family, friends, and neighbors. The Christmas season is so busy that we find it hard to give gifts to many who are outside our family during that season so we have decided that we will celebrate Easter by giving gifts to friends and neighbors at Easter rather than during the Christmas rush. This is not to say that we will not include presents in our celebrations of Christmas, but that we have a second season of giving which we will use.
I am excited about our plans to make more of Easter. I hope that this course will make it easier to emphasize the true meaning behind this holiday for our children.