What comes to mind when you think of Easter? For me, one of the strongest memories I have of Easter is a combination of pastel colored everything and also, waiting impatiently in a kitchen for eggs to boil while dressed in my Sunday’s best. With great anticipation, I’d wait and wait until it would finally be safe and okay to paint them (once they had cooled off, of course). After decorating would ensue, the eggs then would be hidden from my fellow egg-seekers and I by adults who most likely found too much joy seeing their children scramble in the backyard garden. Like most American traditional families, you may have a similar memory to mine: a basket full of chocolate rabbits in one hand and an anxious attitude in the other. As we get older, there may be less of egg hunting in our lives, but the itch to explore the things that wait to be discovered only grows. Our natural spirit of waiting and seeking for pretty and colorful things still is very much a part of us. We want treasures.
A lot like spring, the Easter season and story gives a tone of vibrant renewal, rebirth and a hope; things are not what they once were, they are better and they are brighter and more importantly, alive. And while there’s no denying this holy holiday’s declaration, a lot of the general background of Easter has been greatly influenced and confirmed by pagan customs, pre-dating Christianity. For instance, the egg that is often used as an Easter motif is interestingly a symbol for new life and rebirth. Themes of revival continue when we look at ancient times and the act of coloring eggs being known for a marker of welcoming spring during a festival celebrated faithfully by far away places such as Egypt, Persia and Rome.
Easter is also one of the most significant holidays on the Christian calendar. Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon during the March Equinox (when spring starts), Easter is officially celebrated. Today is one day (out of the celebratory season called Eastertide) when Christians recognize Jesus Christ rising from the dead—just three days after his crucifixion as described in the New Testament. They believe that in his death he took all darkness, evil and wrong-doings of humanity to the grave, and rose again to life as a symbol of triumph over death, bringing renewal and new life to humanity.
Around the world, near and far, the season we encounter during Easter embodies if anything, a common resonance of nature and newness. As the spring air begins to infiltrate our lungs, we can see the evidence of new life all around us—trees are turning greener and flowers wildly start to bloom. We breathe in freshness with a spirit filled with positive anticipation. For winter is gone and something new is on the horizon. There is something we feel deep down is worth celebrating.
Beyond the festive joy, feasts and family gatherings—and even the colorful treasures we each hope for, Easter is an event marked by great significance and sacrifice. And behind the fabled bunnies, the sugary peeps or any religious references, there is an introspective understanding as we find ourselves amidst this season—and an innate truth that surpasses any age or belief system, and it’s that we are people who find ourselves often times waiting and looking for something—anything worth our while. Easter solidifies the sure coming of something that is worth waiting for. We can learn from this holiday that there is renewal and there is light given by God into the things in our lives that oftentimes weigh us down and darken our hearts. So with the winning warmth that comes with spring, consider how the waiting in your life can be melted away and mended. And how new life has begun and is given, if only we simply look around and let it.