Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What is the most exciting thing about Easter?

That's the question that was asked during the children's sermon on Sunday. Predictably, the answer was "the Easter bunny". I wasn't too surprised. After all, many people who show up to church on Easter only show up one other time in the year too--Christmas. Their children probably have very little perspective on Jesus and his resurrection. But it wouldn't surprise me if the regular church-going children said the same thing. The Easter bunny and all that candy is what they see on tv and in stores and what they talk about with their friends. Some people asked if the Easter bunny came to our house and I said no (my son is only 7 1/2 months old). But what I really wanted to say was "what does the Easter bunny have to do with Jesus?" Maybe next year I'll have the nerve to respond that way. I don't want him to not know what the holiday is really about, and so maybe the Easter bunny won't ever visit us.

I'm sure I'll be looked at as mean or weird or stifling my child's imagination.

But aren't we as Christians called to be different from the surrounding culture? How can we be a light if we aren't shining any more brightly than everyone else? How do we show that the resurrection matters if we make mention of it at church for an hour but spend much more time getting kids excited to see what the Easter bunny will bring and bringing them to egg hunts and talking a lot more about that than about Jesus?

Should we really be so concerned about our kids not having fun at Easter because the Easter bunny didn't come or should we be concerned about our children being members of the Kingdom of God?