A few weeks ago I had the joy of shopping at Trader Joe’s®. I like shopping there: they have great wholesome food at really good prices. As I was walking down the aisle of frozen foods, I came across a peculiar item – ‘Meatless Meatballs’. Before posting a hurtful comment about my obvious insensitivity toward vegetarians, let me state that I have no problem with the product; I have a problem with the name. Perhaps they are just as advertised, a delicious soy substitute for meat, but can it really be called a meatball? I assume that a meatball contains meat.
This product got me thinking, though, about Easter. Why do we have ‘Easter Egg Rolls’ sponsored by those who have no desire to commemorate the reality of Easter, the resurrection of Jesus? Why not call them “Decorated Egg Rolls” or “Seasonal Egg Rolls”. We ought to also come up with a term for the irreligious to use for the big bucket of candy we leave out for kids on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (I thought about suggesting “big candy bucket”, but I think that belongs to the last day of October). It seems wrong to use the word Easter if it contains no Easter in it.
Or we could insist that we include Easter in our egg hunts and baskets and parades, if those are still a thing. We could choose to remind others that eggs (symbols of new life) remind us that new life is possible through Easter. We could choose to say when we bite into one of those hollow chocolate bunnies that, like this delicious confection, the tomb where Jesus was laid happened to be empty, too. We could even enjoy those neon chick-shaped puffs of sugar as we sing, “‘Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus.”
“Don’t be alarmed,” [the angel] said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:6
Easter is a time to remember why we are celebrating, not just a time of celebrating. We remember and celebrate that death has no power over those who trust in Jesus. We remember and celebrate that Satan has already been defeated and his reign will certainly come to an end. We remember and celebrate that we are loved so completely by God that nothing in all creation could ever separate us. That is why we ought to include Easter in our celebrations. It would be a shame to accept an inferior replacement for the true joy and majesty the resurrection provides.
I hope that you have the opportunity, between dyeing eggs and feasting on ham, to engage in worship this Sunday. I would consider it a privilege, if you are in Dorchester, to worship with you at Calvary (breakfast at 9:30 and worship at 11). I truly pray that you will not enjoy an Easterless Easter – a pleasant, but unsatisfying, cultural substitute for a personal relationship with the Lord. Happy Easter to all.