I passed by an Assemblies of God church yard yesterday (aka Holy Saturday) teeming with little ones in the frantic “search” for eggs. Actually the eggs were strewn across the lawn and there wasn’t much searching involved. Instead it was Candy Mayhem as kids gathered eggs as if their lives depended on it.
Very few Christian communities ignore the egg and bunny rituals of Easter. Never mind that fertility imagery smacks of Astarte and Ashtoreth rather than the God of Israel. But just try to remove the Annual Easter Egg Hunter (or the Bunny Brunch or the Easter Bonnet Fashion Show) from the church calendar and watch the fur fly. Attendance is often higher at the Egg Hunt than Maundy Thursday or Good Friday services.
Every year, I pull out our family collection of White House Easter Eggs from our DC years and remember 1) that my dream job involves being the Coordinator of the White House Easter Egg Roll and 2) I loved this event with our kids.
Among the eggs our children received were one autographed by Barney Frank and another signed by Dan Burton. In the 1990s – when our kids were young enough to roll Easter eggs on the White House lawn – Barney Frank represented the 4th District of Massachusetts and Dan Burton represented the 6th District of Indiana in the US House of Representatives. They could not have been more different:
- Frank is a liberal Democrat. Burton is a conservative Republican.
- Frank is a Jewish atheist. Burton is a Christian.
- Frank is gay. Burton is not.
- As a member of Congress, Frank had a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Burton had a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
- As a Congressman, Frank co-sponsored the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.” Burton had an A rating with the Gun Owners of America.
You get the picture.
So, here in my dining room, we have our Barney Frank egg and our Dan Burton egg, along with assorted others signed by everybody from Socks the cat to former Presidents. But I love our Barney and Dan eggs the best because they remind me what resurrection is all about.
I doubt that Dan Burton and Barney Frank hang out together, but it’s possible that they could in an Easter World. This is not to say that Easter is magic anymore than faith is magic. (Note: Do yourselves a favor and listen to Brene explain faith right here.)
I believe in a God who can redeem the widest chasms between people who disagree, people who have hurt each other, people who hate each other. We may not want to be redeemed, because it means that something has to die: our dreams, our image of perfection, our stubbornness, our need to be right, our desire to please people.
But this is what Easter is all about. It’s miraculous. And in my house, the possibilities are evident in two eggs each held years ago by two very different people. Jesus can even redeem the chasm between those guys.
Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed.