"What happens when we practice a ritual for its own sake, forgetting about the deeper meaning and symbols involved?"
The Plight of Easter Traditions
Here at Building Faith we see holiday traditions as powerful markers for churches and households. Traditions bind us together across time and space; they can help teach and form people. In the case of Christian holidays, traditions can draw us closer to Jesus Christ and support us in our discipleship.
But what happens when a tradition loses its connection to Christian beliefs and values? What happens when we practice a ritual for its own sake, forgetting about the deeper meaning and symbols involved? This is essentially where we find ourselves vis a vis Easter egg hunts and Easter baskets. The traditions are in place, but they lack spiritual depth.
Some churches and households have decided to dispatch egg hunts and baskets all together; after all, these traditions were never make-or-break rituals for celebrating the Resurrection. The two articles below, however, offer another option: an opportunity to take the traditions of egg hunts and baskets, and add Christian depth and teaching back into them. In this way, the rituals become teachable moments with explicit connections to the Christian faith.
Re-Inventing the Egg Hunt and Easter Basket
Of course, egg hunts and baskets are supposed to be fun – that's part of the point! The great news in the two posts below is that the fun and cheer (and sugar) of these Easter traditions remains. For the egg hunt, kids still get candy; but they also connect with Christian mission, charity, and generosity. For the Easter basket, treats may abound, but they are surrounded by Christian symbols, encouragements, and teaching tools.
We hope you are inspired to consider Easter traditions, and how we can use them to teach and shine the light of Christ. (While still enjoying a few jelly beans along the way.)
How to Re-Invent Your Easter Egg Hunt, For Good
by Rebecca Nelson Edwards
In 2014, this post gained the most single-day hits of any Building Faith post ever! It describes a church that stuffed hundreds of eggs with "Good Sam Bucks" which children used to vote for donations to local charities. The egg hunt would never be the same.
Build a Better Easter Basket
by Jerusalem Greer
In 2015, the brilliant and creative author of A Homemade Year wrote this article especially for Building Faith. Jerusalem suggests filling an Easter basket with everything from Bibles to bubbles; stickers to seeds – all with scriptural connections. The positive response to this post was huge; we hope you enjoy and share.