My first reaction was a chuckle; my second was a scowl. As I was driving home, circling the Neponset Circle rotary, I saw the traffic sign – “Spring Egg Hunt, March 12th, PJP Park”. It appears that the term “Easter Egg” has been changed. Allow me a moment to ask a few questions. First, what is a spring egg? Is it the product of a spring chicken? Second, why call it a spring egg hunt a full week before winter has ended? Isn’t it really a winter egg hunt? Third, was there a great outcry against the DCR in previous years that made necessary this name change? Who takes umbrage with an Easter egg?
I would not be so presumptuous to speak to the organizers of the ‘Spring Egg Hunt’ on behalf of all the members of the Christian clergy in Dorchester, so I will speak for myself: I hope you didn’t change the name of this event on my behalf. Sure, I take a minuscule amount of offense at the notion of equating the most important day on the church calendar with unnaturally colored eggs, chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks, but I accept that many in my neighborhood use the name ‘Easter’ to qualify baskets, bonnets and brunches. As far as I am concerned, you can use the traditional title.
I write all this in jest.
Easter commemorates, to the Christian, the day that history changed. It joyously recognizes the moment that Jesus was raised to life and exited the tomb, appearing to a large number of people. It is the day that makes all the difference for those who are in bondage to sin and death:
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (NIV)
The fact is that Easter is everything to those who trust Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is the celebration of resurrection, of the dead being raised to life. It is the celebration of victory, of the power of sin being fully vanquished by the sacrifice of Christ. It is the celebration of reconciliation, of the wayward soul being given the pathway for a safe return home. It is the celebration of fidelity, of the promises made being the promises kept. It is the celebration of love, of the depths to which our Father in heaven will go to show how great His affections are for us. That is why we ought to use the word Easter.
I realize that you need not accept what I have said to enjoy Easter – the solid milk chocolate bunny will still taste delicious whether you go to church or not and the neon marshmallow and sugar confections will still be delicious whether you love Jesus or not – I just know that you will not enjoy it as much. I cannot understand how the term “Easter Egg” is any more offensive than any of the alternative nomenclature our community might use. Dying chicken eggs and de-foiling chocolate ones don’t make it Easter, an empty cross and an empty tomb do.