Recently, I was shopping in the Super Wal-Mart not far from my home, when I happened to pass the “holiday promotion” aisle. Of course, this time of year, the shelves were brimming with Easter candy, Easter bunnies, and Easter baskets, all in lovely pastel colors of pink, yellow, and purple. But wait, what was this? A Shrek head? A Spiderman basket? A smiling soccer ball? It appeared that the traditional Easter motif had some competition. How strange, I thought, shaking my head and continuing on my way. Who would buy such a thing for their children? After all, it isn’t Halloween; it is Easter.
A few days later, I was in Kohl’s, shopping for some pretty, pastel Easter socks. How odd, I observed. No bunnies. No egg patterns. No cute floral designs. What was that? You have black socks with a skull and crossbones design in the hosiery department? Surely, you jest. It is, after all, Easter and not Halloween.
Several days after my trip to Kohl’s, I decided to shop online for some Easter items. Since I was looking for footwear, I headed over to the Joy of Socks. They had a few pairs of Easter socks with the traditional bunny and egg designs, alongside more hosiery sporting more skulls. I even found a pair of thigh-high lacy stockings with a spider web design. Those were sold out! Meanwhile the pastel bunnies languished in obscurity.
So where was I when the Easter bus left town? Did the Boogie Man and his minions kidnap the Easter bunny ala The Nightmare Before Christmas? Was I cranially in absentia when some massive cultural reinterpretation occurred? Easter does involve death…a death…the death of Christ…on Good Friday. Given that, I suppose some greedy corporation could advance an argument that skull and crossbones socks are an Easter-season fashion item. Of course, I would consider such an explanation complete lunacy, but I digress…It is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT to remember that Easter involves resurrection…a resurrection…the only resurrection that saved any of us from eternal damnation… the resurrection of Christ. Easter represents life.
So if pagan symbols of death bother me on Easter, why am I not concerned about pagan symbols of life --- like the bunny rabbit and the egg and various flowers? Because they can be used as vehicles to explain the new life that we all have in Christ. Take the bunny rabbit, for example. Anyone who knows anything about rabbits understands their capacity to reproduce. What better symbol for new life could you possibly find than that, unless, of course, you had chosen a guppy? And what about the egg? Almost every new life on earth is born from an egg of some sort, including humans. As for the flowers, well, that should be obvious. Who doesn’t see the signs of new life when crocuses and daffodils emerge every spring? Just as we receive new life in Christ, so God can use these pagan symbols as witnesses to that life.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
So where does that leave the Shrek head, the Spiderman basket, and the smiling soccer ball? With blatant commercialism and nothing more. In my opinion, those items should be stocked in the warehouse until October when they can be more appropriately displayed as part of Halloween, not Easter.
Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.