Friday, March 22, 2013

Why The Easter Bunny Doesn't Visit My House

Spring is in the air and it is time again for me to start thinking about cleaning- a type of spring cleaning if you will. A spiritual and physical time to reflect and purge the "old leaven" from my life. It wasn't so many years ago that springtime had a different meaning. I grew up with springtime synonymous with Easter baskets, chocolate and the smells of grandma's house.

It was one of my favorite times of the year- and yet it is one that my children have never experienced.

In university I started attending a few different churches- i'd go with friends to youth groups and various activities. I also was majoring in English Literature. So the Bible became a bit of a puzzle to work on, a bit of an interesting study - in a way it wasn't before. And I soon came to realize that most of the churches I was attending didn't actually follow the Bible. And I couldn't figure out why.

Instead of focusing on ways in which God has outlined - and behaviors that are listed as appropriate in His sight- it seemed that there was a greater fascination with Pagan customs and rituals. And I learned that the origins of what we know as Halloween, Christmas and Easter were not Christian origins.

And for some reason that didn't sit well with me.

And then I read this

"When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.' You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it." (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).

And I wondered - is that what happened- did we just take on the customs of worship that other religions had and tried to "Christian-ize" them?

I understand that there are many good things that seem to come from celebrating Christmas and Easter- homeless are fed, people learn some things about Jesus and it is an enjoyable family time. But I think about the tree of good and evil. I think about how disobeying God was rationalized. And I wonder how we rationalize it today.

The other day I met someone and mentioned that I am preparing to observe Passover. She said oh- I must be celebrating the Jewish holidays. That is what most people say. Most people assume I am Jewish. Some remember that Jesus was born a Jew.

Some remember that 1 John 2:4-6  and 1 Corinthians 11:1.

I have many Jewish friends, and Muslim friends, and Catholic friends and I yet I am not any of these things- I am Christian by the most technical literal definition. I strive to follow Jesus Christ from the examples in the Bible. And since they do not mention chocolate bunnies, rabbits laying brightly colored eggs and the worship of the fertiltiy godess Ishtar as being behavior that Jesus Christ chose- then I will not chose that either- for as for me and my house- we will strive to follow the Lord- and not the preconceived ideas of my youth - but rather the black and white of the Bible that I am so blessed to be able to own.

In so many ways as a parent I find I'm second guessing myself- which curriculum is best, how many activities, how many Barbies (can I have Barbies? Should they be allowed to be naked? ) how do I discipline? - yet there are a few times when I don't have to wonder is this the "right" thing. For our family the Easter Bunny is not a part of our life and each year when talk to our children about the exodus out of Egypt and our own exodus out of sin I am reconfirmed that it is a good decision for our family!