Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, on which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
— 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
Stop and think about this. No, really! Read it twice. Think about it.
It sounds pretty important, doesn’t it?
I bring this up because a poll published by The Barna Group in March 2010 shows that when asked what Easter is about, only 37% of Catholics in the United States responded with “The Resurrection.”
Excuse me, but what are the rest of you thinking?! This is the high holy day of the Christian year, a commemoration of the day on which all our fortunes were turned and we were brought back to friendship with God. The gates of heaven were opened. Death was conquered. Jesus was victorious over sin.
In fairness, the number of self-identified Catholics who said they celebrate Easter as a religious holiday was higher (65%). I’m not sure whether that means: Did those who said it was a religious holiday, but who couldn’t think of the Resurrection, just have some squiggly, pastel-colored, bunny-soft idea of religion? Or did they simply respond to the interviewer’s question generically, even though they did understand the significance of the feast
* * * * *
The Barna Report had me thinking about how parents raise their children—specifically, what parents tell their kids about the Easter Bunny.
I remember, as a child, loving the Easter egg hunt. We loved painting the eggs on Holy Saturday. On Easter Sunday, my sisters and I—after finding all the eggs and our baskets—would hide them again and again, all day and probably all week, for the sheer pleasure of once again peeking in cupboards and under tables to find the elusive eggs.
But there was an element of suspicion: I mean, if my parents lied to me about Santa Claus and about the Easter Bunny, couldn’t they also have lied to me about Jesus? Eventually I came to understand the difference between faith and fantasy; but I do remember those childhood concerns, and I do see why some parents do not participate in society’s great fantasy about sneaky bunnies who love kids and give them lots and lots of chocolate.
How do you celebrate the Easter holiday in your family?
What do you tell your children about the Easter Bunny?
(Note: There are no right or wrong answers in this quiz!)