Grace Lutheran Church

Baldwin, Michigan

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What’s with Easter Eggs?


     For millennia eggs have symbolized spring and new life in a variety of cultures.  Early Christians in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq and surrounding area) had a custom of dying eggs red to symbolize the blood of Jesus shed at His crucifixion.  Eggs also came to symbolized the empty tomb and resurrection of Jesus as chicks emerge from eggs cracked open..  Since the traditional Lenten fast also included not eating eggs, Easter feasts often included foods rich in egg to help use up the eggs that had accumulated during Lent.  While eggs were used to celebrate the return of spring in many cultures and religions, there is also Christian symbolism involved.

    Decorating, hiding, finding, rolling and all the other things we do with eggs at Easter are also just plain fun.  Easter is to be a joyous occasion, so why not have some fun with it also.  Whether we use chicken eggs, plastic egg shells filled with candy or chocolate eggs (need I mention the ones each year with a white and yellow cream filling?) Easter eggs are fun as well a symbolic reminding us that Jesus came to give us life, and give it to the fill.

    Lent reminds us that we are sinners, how much is wrong with us and the world.  Lent is also a reminder that everything in this world ends in death.  Life is serious business, nobody gets out of it alive.  And yet, death does not have the final say.  Even though fall brings the changing and falling of the leaves, the joyous harvest and the death of crops and is the prelude of winter when the whole world seems to die off, and the privation of less sunlight, cold and dwindling food stocks (as used to happen before modern preservation techniques), spring reminds us that even winter has an end with new life and hope.  It is during this time that we celebrate Easter.  The date for Easter each year is the first Sunday after the First Full Moon after the First Day of Spring.

    Despite the sin that plagues us and the world, God is not done with us, He still gives us hope.  Sin was taken care of at Good Friday when Jesus died for our sins.  On Easter death itself went down to defeat and died.  Death could not hold Jesus.  Death will not hold those whom Jesus saved.  While we live in this world, we will still die, but that is not the end but rather a new beginning because although our bodies die and are laid to rest, our souls are taken to be with God in heaven.  But that is only for a time until Jesus returns at the end of time and our souls will rise again and we will again be in our bodies, only bodies that are perfect without fault or flaw and will that way for eternity.  We still have the final resurrection to look forward to.

    Meanwhile, God is with us here and now.  We still have sorrows in the world, death is still the specter at the banquet, reminding us that all is not well, but with God with us, we need not fear.  We mourn when we lose loved ones, we are not pleased to realize that our own time here is short.  But God has us in hand.  Easter is the feast of God’s victory for us over sin and death.

     Jesus is Risen!

     He is Risen indeed!

     Alleluia!

    Amen!