(Contest is over - see post on 4/14/17 for winner - and thanks for visting!)
Nine Sweet Wild West Reads authors are participating in an Easter Egg Hunt where you can win FREE books!! Scroll to the bottom of this post to find out the details of how to enter and where to hunt for Easter Eggs.
Easter is the holiest of Christian holidays. Jesus Christ's death and resurrection are what define Christianity, in fact. But secular celebrations have taken over this holiday. Some Christians don't "do" Easter because it has become secularized. They celebrate the Resurrection, of course, but no Easter Bunny, decorated eggs, or baskets of gifts for them.
Our family celebrates with many of the secular traditions but we teach our children how things like Easter eggs and gifts can be symbolic of the true holiday. Here's my take on it:
The Easter Bunny: a mythical creature who we wait for expectantly. Much like the Jews of the Old Testament waited for the prophesied Messiah. Yet when Jesus did arrive, most (at first) did not recognize him as the Messiah. He came disguised as an ordinary man, son of a carpenter, from humble origins. For those who did accept and believe in Jesus, the early Christians, it must have felt a lot like believing in something as silly as a giant rabbit who lays eggs and/or brings gifts. Early follows of Christ were ridiculed and persecuted by the leaders of the Jewish faith. Those who clung to faith in the Messiah are rewarded, though!
basket for the kids. Just a few little, pleasurable gifts and maybe some candy (or flowers for my daughter, who doesn't really like candy). Seems like another excuse for commercial enterprises to suck money from our wallets. Yet, there is a correlation between Easter gifts and Jesus. Christ, after all, is the greatest gift ever given! We don't even deserve it. All we have to do to receive this wonderful gift is believe that God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins. He promised this Messiah and He always keeps His promises.
Finally, Easter eggs and hunts: Eggs are symbolic of new life. They've been associated with pagan festivals since ancient times. Many will point out, in criticism of Christianity, that Christian holidays and traditions often reflect pagan rituals and celebrations. I don't find that to be such a bad thing - the early church wanted to reach out to the pagans and draw them into faith. What better way than to say, "Hey, you know how you celebrate Spring as the season of rebirth? Well, do you know who makes that rebirth possible each year?" Then follow it up with teaching about the ultimate rebirth: being born again when accepting Christ as our personal savior and turning away from a life of sin! So decorating eggs to help celebrate the season of rebirth and renewal can help us remember the wonderful gift of rebirth made possible by Jesus Christ.
Hunting for Easter eggs can also represent our life journeys once we have accepted Christ as our savior. Believing and having faith doesn't make life a rose garden with all beauty and no struggles. We still live in this world filled with millions and billions of others who don't believe. Each day, we need to focus and seek God's will for us. We search for that divine path the Lord wishes for us to follow and when we're successful, He rewards us! Like finding a prettily decorated boiled egg or perhaps (even better!), a plastic egg full of candy.
Jesus' life is a wonderful example of how we can live the life God intended for His children. Christ's death and resurrection are the proofs of God's love and show that He will always fulfill His promises.
While we celebrate the Resurrection, we also like to have some fun. Check out my author Facebook page (Tammy Doherty author https://www.facebook.com/TammyDohertyAuthor/) and find the Easter Egg and you could win a copy of one of my books. To enter the drawing, find the Easter egg on my Facebook page then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (or message my author FB page) telling me what album the photo is in. You can get an extra entry in the drawing if you also leave a comment on this post, letting me know you found the Easter egg...but don't say where!
When you've found my Easter egg, pop over to these other Sweet Wild West Reads authors' sites for a chance to win more free books (click on the author's name or the link address and it will take you to that site). Just find the Easter egg (it looks like this one to the right of the author list), then fill out the contact form on that website stating where you found it (be sure to include your contact information, in case you win). Good luck and Happy Hunting!
Kay P. Dawson