I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:22-23)
The Easter Bunny is a convert to Christianity. Thought to be named for the Germanic pagan goddess Easter, (April was named Eastermonab in West Saxon and Old English) Easter bunnies and eggs were likely part of the spring fertility rites. Yet early missionaries to my pagan ancestors converted the name and symbols to introduce the Celebration of New Life through Christ’s Resurrection: the eggs representing the stone rolled away from Jesus tomb to reveal His resurrection, and the bunny becoming a symbol of the joyful spread of the new life made available through Him.
Those who take seriously our Lord’s command to “go and make disciples of all nations” have always sought common ground with nonbelievers in their native culture, and we continue to do so—after all, you are reading this in English, as an email sent on the internet—all of which were at once new territory for Christianity. The downside of converting culture, of course, is that people often celebrate the trappings while missing the great message meant to be communicated. The upside is that in images such as bunnies and eggs, we who know the message have an opportunity to share the good news that brings new life.
Heavenly Father, as we celebrate the passion and resurrection of Your Son, enable us to share with those who have not yet grasped it the reason for the season: the new and lasting life given us through Jesus. Draw those without hope to the light of Your salvation, and draw us into conversation with them, that they too may be converted, in Jesus’ name, amen.
SPEAKING OF NEW LIFE…
A man was blissfully driving along the highway, when he saw the Easter Bunny hopping across the middle of the road. He swerved to avoid hitting the bunny, but unfortunately the rabbit jumped in front of his car and was hit. The basket of eggs went flying all over the place. Candy, too.
The driver, being a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulled over to the side of the road, and got out to see what had become of the bunny carrying the basket. Much to his dismay, the colorful bunny was dead.
The driver felt guilty and began to cry. A woman driving down the same highway saw the man crying on the side of the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked the man what was wrong.
"I feel terrible," he explained, "I accidentally hit the Easter Bunny and killed it. What should I do?"
The woman told the man not to worry. She knew exactly what to do. She went to her car trunk, and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to the limp, dead bunny, and sprayed the entire contents of the can onto the little furry animal.
Miraculously the Easter Bunny came to back life, jumped up, picked up the spilled eggs and candy, waved its paw at the two humans and hopped on down the road. 50 yards away the Easter Bunny stopped, turned around, waved and hopped on down the road another 50 yards, turned, waved, hopped another 50 yards and waved again!!!!
The man was astonished. He said to the woman, "What in heaven's name is in your spray can?" The woman turned the can around so that the man could read the label. It said:
"Hair spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave."
The Resurrection of our Lord be your joy and strength this week!
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.