The commercialization of Easter…
“Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, hippity hoppity Easter’s on its way.”
Who the heck is this rabbit anyway?
The concept of the “Easter hare” was brought to the U.S. in the 1700’s by way of the German immigrants who settled in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. The Easter hare was an egg-laying rabbit and the children would build nests for the eggs. The nests evolved into baskets, thus the Easter basket, which moved from being filled with eggs, to also including chocolate, toys, and money. The German chocolatiers became, I guess, the first in a long line of those who commercialize Easter.
Nobody apparently knows where the term Easter comes from. It is believed that maybe it came from a pagan celebration of spring bringing a renewal of life. One such festival was to honor the goddess Eastre who symbolized dawn, spring, and fertility in northern Europe. The goddess Eastre was closely aligned to the hare and eggs via the fertility link.
The early Christian missionaries used to link pagan festivals with religion to attract more converts. As a result, we wind up with the Easter bunny, and as of 2016 Americans spent 17.3 billion dollars on everything Easter…clothes, food, and toys and CANDY. It seems a terrible waste of money when Isaiah had this to say about such things in Chapter 1, verse 14. “Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me: I am weary to bear them.” He appeared to see the Pagans as hypocritical worshipers.
I grew up looking for jelly beans (little eggs?) hidden by my Dad in our home. We then all went to Church and sang “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” At least we knew what Easter was about. I am saddened to think of the young children of today. As the number of active Christians decreases, the children know nothing about Christ, but they can sure tell you about Satan. It is easy to see why the soul of Isaiah hated the pagan feasts. What do parents of today think when they grew up knowing the Lord, but don’t have the time or inclination to teach their own children.
Isaiah doesn’t write about the resurrection of, Christ. He does, however, refer to God’s sacrifice of his only begotten Son to save us all. This Easter, let’s go out and speak to all of our children and grandchildren about what Easter really means. Don’t let the pagans or the dark side, take the true, beautiful meaning of the resurrection from us.