Those who know me might be surprised to read what follows, but then again those who know me pretty well should not be.
I love the easter season. It is springtime, and it is chocolate bunny time and on top of it all is a super party for zombie Jesus. Seriously though, let's put all of that name calling aside and have a look at why Easter is so different from Christmas.
Let's begin by examining a typical conversation that could be heard around Christmas:
A: Merry Christmas!
B: Happy Holidays!
A: Bitch! Stop Oppressing Me! It's a CHRIST-mas tree, it's Jesus' birthday, ignorant asshole!
b: Bitch! Stop Oppressing Me! It's a christmas TREE, it's a Pagan celebration of winter, ignorant asshole!
I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. I'm guessing most of you have had the same interactions yourselves. Each party is more self-righteous than the other and the whole argument escalates into one big orgy of one-upsmanship. Enter hallmark and the toy companies and what you're left with on December 26th is a messy living room and an emotional hangover.
Well Easter is different. First of all, it's a celebration of life after death for some, and rebirth for others. Both Christians and Pagans can kindof agree that those two ideas could, academically speaking, mostly go together. Right? (probably not, but since this is the kind of entry where I'm bound to piss people off anyway, I'll just continue)
For some, Easter truly is the promise fulfilled and they know in their hearts that Jesus really DID get up from the grave on the third day and just bust out of there blistering with divine light. Regardless of where you fall on the "son of god" debate, that's a pretty powerful image and it's a pretty significant message, seems to me, that it happens at this time of year. For others, Easter is a time to celebrate having lived through just another bleak and dreary winter. Or it's a time to knock boots and eat chocolate. All of these perspectives do fold rather comfortably into eachother for one reason... all parties involved are happy. We're all glad to have made it, and we're grateful for the chance to celebrate it.
What would Jesus do? Well as he never celebrated Easter himself, I have to admit that it's hard to imagine his take on this holiday, but I'd like to hope that he would want us to focus on being happy and sharing time with family and eating good food and maybe breaking out the gardening tools and tending to the things that are beginning to grow at our feet. After all, he had been dead for a few days and was probably looking forward to some family time and a good meal.
Again, I'm being cheeky, and mostly I don't intend to be as massive a font of heresy as I am right now. I just love Easter because it does belong to the Christians now, lock, stock and barrel. I love Easter because it still is rife with pagan symbolism. I love easter because it's not called "Deathmas" or "Bornagainday" or "Jesuslovesyouorelse" day. It's Easter. It's the perfect concession between two very strong and deep rooted backgrounds and frankly I think it's a phenomenal example of unity that can be embraced by nearly everyone. It's easter. It's warm out. And unless you are otherwise occupied by sandbagging your home I hope you can just take it easy this weekend and celebrate it with me. Eat those glorious chocolate bunnies as an act of peace and brotherhood. Cozy up at the dinner table with your family and maybe pass an extra slice of ham to that infuriating pagan black-sheep cousin of yours. Honor the divine in as wonderful and heartwarming a way as you can muster... whatever that divinity is for you.
And welcome back Jesus. It seems like you were only born a few months ago but you look good. Take it easy and tell your dad we say "hi".