Monday, April 13, 2009

Resurrection Fireworks

The home i was raised in, by most people's standards, was to say the least, very conservative. Let me explain.

In regard to holidays, i was taught to know what i'm celebrating. And if some part of the prescribed celebration of a holiday did not fit with the reason for the celebration, or if the reason for celebration did not have a place with our beliefs and faith, then that celebration was clearly deleted from (or never showed up in) our traditions and celebrations.

For example:

Christmas - celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on the Earth. Household celebration includes modest gift-giving, prayerful thanksgiving for God's gift, and warm fellowship with family and friends. Because of pagan origin of Christmas trees, household celebration does not include Christmas tree, and i was never ever told by my parents that anyone, much less Santa Claus, was going to come down my chimney and give me presents for being a good girl.

Halloween - no redeemable reason for celebration could be found. Halloween was not celebrated in my home, trick-or-treaters were not given candy, and if my class was having a halloween celebration, i was pulled from school.

Easter - named Resurrection Day in my household, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which was the means by which He overcame sin and death after paying for our sins on the cross. Celebration is worshipful thanksgiving to God and does not ever include anything about a bunny or an egg.

Now my friends never really understood why i didn't go trick-or-treating or why the tooth fairy didn't come to my house when i lost my teeth. But i feel so much richer for having parents who instilled in me a certain integrity about holy days and celebrations with meaning.

Since i have been married, i have not kept with all of the same conclusions my parents came to, but i have retained the desire to know what i'm celebrating and why. And i, having married into a family that celebrates most holidays the way everyone else does, have sought to find ways to bring meaning to, shall i say, secular celebrations.

Of course, the reason all this comes to mind right now is because yesterday was Easter. I carefully avoided the Sunday morning church service because i couldn't bear, on this particular Sunday, the sight of Easter baskets in church. This scene is one that has taken me by unpleasant surprise more than once, and i simply didn't have the stamina for it. If you haven't climbed into my head on this matter yet, understand that seeing easter baskets and eggs in church is right next to blasphemy for me. But since i recognize that those perpetrating these traditions are by no means intentionally disgracing the house of the Lord, i try to avoid situations in which i might inadvertently externalize the emotional response within me that wants to run screaming through the church and ripping easter baskets from the hands of unusually well-dressed little girls who will have no idea why i just lost my mind. I love my egg-dying friends and family, and i have tried to have influence, if at all, by means of...positive reinforcement instead of wild antics that would probably never be forgotten and not make the proper point.

That was a rabbit trail. I apologize. Back to me and my husband in the kitchen on Easter morning...

I was sharing with my loving man that i was avoiding the easter egg hunt at my church and that i wanted to go to a play about the resurrection of Jesus that evening. And as we talked, we stumbled upon what i think will make for a very enjoyable and appropriate celebration. We hope to institute it next year.

On the holiday called easter, i recognize and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. This, as my husband pointed out, is cause for great celebration. I agree.

I've never seen any distinct food tradition in regard to easter. It's always just a loose copy of Thanksgiving. A ham and fixin's and of course easter eggs.

Luke records that after Jesus rose from the dead (which is what we're celebrating, remember) Jesus appeared to the disciples. But the disciples, having witnessed His gruesome and thorough death and burial, were frightened and thought they must be seeing a ghost. So to prove to the disciples that He was not a ghost, Jesus asked them if they had any food. Someone gave him a piece of broiled fish, and Jesus ate it in front of them to show them that He had truly risen, and that it was really His body in front of them, and not a spirit or a vision or a hallucination. On a different occasion after His resurrection, Jesus also fed fish to the disciples - and used the catching of fish to illustrate His will to His disciples.

So, next year, my husband and i are planning to host a Resurrection Day celebration which will involve an afternoon fish roast, followed by evening fireworks. Fish, for the reasons described previously, and fireworks because - what better reason to celebrate with fireworks! It is possible that our location may prevent the legal use of very showy fireworks, but we'll at least have some very festive sparklers! =)

Doesn't that sound like fun!

6 comments:

  1. It does sound like a great way to celebrate Easter!!

    I had to laugh about the Easter baskets in church...We were extremely surprised to pick Ryley up from Sunday School on Easter morning, and each child had been given their very own talking Jesus doll. At first I couldn't believe it....graven images, anybody? Jesus as an action figure? But He does quote scriptures and seems to be a distraction from the Easter Bunny's basket deliveries, which was possibly the entire point the church was trying to make. Still trying to figure it out in my head, though. :-)

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  2. oh no!

    i guess i have to really appreciate the genuine attempt to point to Jesus.

    but that is pretty funny - and possibly a little creepy. I'm glad it quotes scripture at least. =)

    lol

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  3. brilliant plan!! i LOVE it ~ can we join?? must tell him about this ~ he will love it too!!!! We have decided NO bunny or eggs or such in our house ~ maybe just a little candy from Mom and Dad though!!!

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  4. you know what I think is so creepy? Resurrection Eggs. I get the point, but I just think about finding tiny little corpses in those eggs. (that's not what's in there, I am just strange)

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  5. Meredith,
    I think we're going to invite everybody, so it'll be a big party.

    Jess,
    Those eggs are kind of weird to me too. I think that my niece and nephew would really not get the point if they opened up the egg - in which they clearly expect to find MORE CANDY - and found a lesson instead. And then if you're not doing the candy thing, then why do the egg thing either? Just do it right. =)

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  6. THAT! is a GREAT idea!!! I really like it!! Please invite us!

    We've done egg hunts. It's fun for the boys. I don't think they know why, though, other than it's a fun thing to do and they can eat mass quantities of candy afterwards. I don't think they could tell you much more about bunnies or eggs, but they'd give you a pretty accurate, really lively boy paraphrase of the Resurrection story. =)

    I think next year (God willin and the creek don't rise...) it would be neat to have an official Passover Dinner. I researched it a bit, planning to do one this year, but found that it was way too detailed for the amount of time I had to plan. It is REALLY cool, though. Jesus' last supper was the Passover, and He told the disciples that He had earnestly desired to eat that Passover with them, and that He would not eat it again until it is fulfilled in Heaven. The story of the Exodus is told, but when you add the life of Jesus, the symbolism is fantastic. And it's meant to share with family and non-believers so they can know the story and believe.

    I could go on, but little one is crying.

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What do you think about that?