The Rev. Tom Brady, senior pastor, First United Methodist Church, 946 Vt.:
All the secular attention given to Easter has the potential to make it an even greater holiday and religious celebration. The cultural hype and highly marketed products like bunnies, eggs, candies and Easter baskets can add to the attention the church tries to give to Easter.
I think the cultural and religious emphasis on Easter can work hand-in-hand. It is truly a special time of year and a very special day. Spring is in the air and signs of new life are all around us. Cards and gifts are sometimes exchanged and the stores are filled with symbols of Easter. An empty plastic egg is the perfect symbol for an empty tomb. An egg of any sort can be an object to teach about new life and how Jesus Christ was raised from death to life.
If the emphasis is only on jelly beans and chocolate, a great teaching opportunity is lost. This is the balance that every parent must determine. Much like Christmas, the opportunity to teach about Jesus is there. In my opinion, the two greatest Christian holidays are Christmas and Easter. They can be about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, or they can be about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If you are a parent who does not know the story of Jesus and do not know much about the significance of the resurrection of Jesus, I would encourage you to take your family to a worship service on Easter morning. Balance out the bunnies and Easter egg hunts with an hour of worship and introduce your children to the true meaning of Easter. Make it a wonderful day of celebration.
Easter is about new life and new beginnings. The good news is that Christ was raised from death to life. Celebrate this good news on Easter morning!
— Send email to Tom Brady at email@example.com.
The Rev. Shannah M. McAleer, senior minister, Unity Church of Lawrence, 900 Madeline Lane:
We are a country of both secular and spiritual practices.
We may celebrate Easter with bunnies, egg hunts, and all sorts of fun spring festivities, and yet the power of the Christian teachings on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus remain intact over time and geography.
Few people may actually even know that the Easter practices around eggs and bunnies and such came from earth-based pagan practices originally, so they no longer carry much “weight” as spiritual practices, if any.
The crucifixion and resurrection do represent very personal possibilities as examples from the life of Jesus. Imagine that we move through difficult times in our lives and joyously proclaim the beauty, power and mystery of the times in our own lives that we might express as resurrection moments — times we transcend the physical realities of the world and move higher into the spiritual realm.
We give thanks for the way-shower Jesus who demonstrated through his own horrific and then transcendent experiences, how we may grow as people of a Christian faith. May you experience all the joy that is Easter.
— Send email to Shannah McAleer at firstname.lastname@example.org