The Greatest Holiday of the Year
In this day and age of Easter being genericized and secularized to little more than a bland springtime holiday that markets Peeps and egg-dying kits, what can we do as Christians at this time of year? Certainly it’s OK to hunt Easter Eggs and dress up in pretty pastels, but how can we maintain a focus on the Cross as we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ?
Photo by: Colby Duncan — Graphic Illustration by: Steve O’Neal
By ABBY CRAIN
This time of year, while many people are celebrating springtime and renewal while eagerly awaiting summer break, Christians are celebrating the core holiday that gives their faith meaning.
Easter is not just for Christians, but many people who do not claim Christianity celebrate it simply as a spring holiday, and some even try to erase the mention of Christ’s name.
Even though Christians do not know the exact date of Jesus’ resurrection, which is the entire point of our celebration of the holiday, we chose years ago to celebrate it on the first Sunday after the spring’s first full moon.
It is sad to me that other people want to take away any mention of the Cross.
I understand that Christians cannot expect non-Christians to believe and celebrate in the same way, but religious freedom does not equate striking out the name of Christ in Easter because some people get offended.
Frankly, I am offended when people try to take away His name from the holiday, because without Christ there would be no original Easter celebration.
I love other aspects of the holiday, despite them having their origins in “paganism,” don’t get me wrong; painting eggs, finding our hidden baskets, and eating Cadbury mini eggs are all favorite memories of past Easters.
For me, however, the Cross itself is the only reason I celebrate Easter as a Christian, because without it there would be no point to the Christian faith.
I think one thing that turns other people off to the idea of the Cross is the actions of Christians who claim it is the entire meaning of their existence yet act the opposite of what they say.
If more Christians would practice what they preach and leave the judging to God, I believe it would help our case.
There is nothing wrong with telling someone the truth from the Bible, but if a Christian isn’t acting in that same way, I don’t blame people who couldn’t care less about Easter.
We as Christians need to be less hypocritical about unbelievers and more hyped about Jesus.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 NIV (Bible Gateway)
By JOSHUA DAUGETTE
I do think that the original purpose of Easter has been perverted.
However, I personally don’t mind the holiday being celebrated in a different way.
I’m an Atheist. I like to paint and hunt for eggs as well as eat massive amounts of candy.
For as long as I can remember, these have been my ritual activities on Easter.
To me the holiday has never truly been about Jesus or his resurrection, but more just spending the day with my family and friends while I fulfill these rituals.
I actually enjoy the commercial holiday more without the heavy focus on an aspect I do not believe in.
America is changing and diversifying; the public is trying to adapt to include more and more different groups of people that celebrate in distinct ways.
Everyone should celebrate a holiday the way they see fit.
By HOLLY FLIEG
My family and I have always recognized Easter as being the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
I think it’s really sad that people are choosing to ignore the significance of the holidays we celebrate.
The focus should be turned back toward the cross instead of just presents under a tree or candy inside an egg.
Regardless of how the rest of the world celebrates the holidays, I will continue to recognize my Christian beliefs.
By JESSE KASSEBAUM
It seems every year we as a nation take one little step away from the Christian principles and foundations that brought about this great country.
This is evident with our politics but it is also evident in the way we celebrate holidays.
It is forbidden in most stores now to say “Merry Christmas” because the word “Christ” can be found.
And now with Easter, the true purpose and meaning has almost all been forgotten in pop culture and now it is all about the Easter bunny, painting eggs, candy and gifts.
As a follower of Christ, I find nothing wrong with things like the Easter bunny, painting eggs, candy, or gifts. In fact, these things are a staple at my family’s Easter gatherings, and getting an Easter basket filled with caramel-stuffed Easter eggs is one of the highlights of the year for me.
What is more important to me and my family, though, is remembering the One who has defeated death and sin and praising him for allowing us to live our lives in freedom, thanksgiving and joy.
The way my family has kept Easter Christ-centered is by opening up the holiday with prayer and thanksgiving.
We thank God for His love and mercy and take time to remember the power of the cross.
When you realize the true power of the cross, all other things in life seem dull compared to Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice … to die so that we might live, and not live in fear, doubt, anger, but to live in boldness, confidence and joy knowing that the God of the universe loves us and has forgiven us of our sin.
By SIERRA THOMPSON
Growing up, my family had always celebrated Easter as the resurrection of Christ.
While we value the true purpose of Easter, we also celebrate with Easter baskets, chocolate and colored eggs.
I personally do not find it wrong to hunt Easter eggs or celebrate the Easter bunny.
I think it is a fun way to spend the day with family and friends.
The only thing that we can do as Christians is to continue to celebrate Easter for its true meaning.
People have always turned away from Christ. We just need to continue to pray and celebrate Christ for everything has done for us.
By VLADYMI JOSEPH
People are forever going to continue to turn away from Christ.
As Christians the only thing we can really do is to continue to celebrate the holiday the way it is attended to be celebrated.
If people choose to not celebrate Easter there is nothing we can really do other than to try to teach them why it is important to celebrate the holiday.
I will always continue to celebrate Easter because it is my duty as a Christian to praise our Lord Jesus Christ.
By CHRISTOPHER CURRY
Research has shown that the Eastertide Season was a Germanic holiday to begin with, as they would celebrate the coming of the sun from a long winter.
Many believe the season gains its name from the goddess Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility, though no true connections have been able to be made.
The Eastertide celebration, of the Gaelic tribes north of Rome, was of the goddess Oster (“Dawn” translated), who was a fertility goddess with the coming of crops who favored Hares and eggs.
We as Christians need to drop the addition of secular traditions and take part in the Passover that is totally part of the Christian heritage.
Passover, which takes place at this same time of the year and holds much more meaning than that of the Eastertide celebrations, needs to be incorporated with the death and rising of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Once separated from that which holds us back meaningful changes can be made.