Easter (the post I almost didn’t write)

Since our whole country (and many others) stop for Easter and participate in the delicious traditions of eating chocolate and hot cross buns, I felt my boys needed an explanation of the occasion.   Not being Christian myself, I find some aspects of the Easter story don’t fit with my understanding of The Universe so I tell it in my own way.  This post is about how my family finds meaning in Easter.

I wasn’t going to write this post because I don’t like upsetting others and I’m not controversial by nature.  I’m aware that some people may feel that, not being Christian myself, I’m in no position to write about Easter, let alone pick-and-mix from Christian beliefs.  I realise that some people who consider religion entirely separate from spirituality may feel I should stay well away from this, the central story of Christianity.

But, one of my personal life lessons has been to be more courageous and to follow my intuition & inspiration, even when it’s scary.  Having thought I wouldn’t write about Easter because I feared upsetting others, the ideas for this post came flooding to me as I was driving to the shops a few days ago and I felt had to write it.  So I am – knees trembling a little if I’m honest.

I have to trust that I have readers who can accept that we all understand things a little differently and that agreement isn’t necessary but Love is.  This is my point of view on Easter.  I offer it not to tell you what to think but as food for thought – to help me clarify what’s true for me and you to clarify what’s true for you.  This is my truth and I write it with Love and respect for all perspectives.

 

WHY I DIDN’T TELL MY CHILDREN THE EASTER STORY AT FIRST

A little over a year ago, Jake (4 years old at the time) saw a cross at a church and said to me, “That’s where the Easter eggs come out”.   I had never told him the Easter story and wondered how he had managed to even link the symbol of the cross with Easter time.  At that stage, Jake had eaten plenty of Easter eggs in his short life but I hadn’t told him the Easter story for a number of reasons –

  • The brutality towards Jesus – Jake is a sensitive soul and I think he would find some of the details quite disturbing, especially the thought of Jesus’ hands being nailed to the cross.
  • The resurrection – how can I help him to understand that Jesus rose from dead but none of our relatives or friends will?  Death can be difficult enough for a child to get their head around without adding this into the mix.
  • The idea of humans being inherently sinful – I believe we are all inherently worthy, created as the Creator wanted us to be, and I want my boys to know this.

 

WHY I DO TELL MY CHILDREN THE EASTER STORY – MY WAY

Whether we take Bible stories as historical events or symbolic tales, there are lessons we can learn from many of them.  I think most religious traditions likely have stories with wisdom to offer when we are willing to interpret them with Love.  So, when it came to Easter, I looked for the wisdom in the story, and what I have found is a lesson in love.  I now tell my boys the story with a bias towards forgiveness and, at their young ages, I choose not to include sin or the death & resurrection yet.

My simplified edition of the story emphasises the moment when Jesus, hanging on the cross in pain, said “forgive them” of all the people who had put him there and taunted him.  I explain that the hot cross buns we eat on Good Friday remind us how he was put on the cross and the Easter eggs we eat on Easter Sunday show remind us of how he forgave the people.  A baby chick is a new life and we talk about how forgiving someone is like having a new life because, when we forgive, we can be happy and kind again.

This way of telling the Easter story seems age-appropriate for my boys and provides an opportunity to remind them of the power forgiveness has in our lives.  The ability to forgive is essential to everybody’s lives.   (I wrote about what forgiveness means to our family in my post Teaching Children About Forgiveness.)

As with any story, different people find different meaning in the Easter story.  And for people who aren’t Christian, being open to finding a message is far more powerful than hoping our children won’t ask what Easter is all about.  I realise a number of key concepts are missing from my retelling of the Easter story.  As my boys get older, I will add more details until they have the full traditional version.  I will explain to them the Christian perspective on Easter, share my point of view and encourage them to find their own.  And it may be that they may discover meanings in the Easter story that I haven’t.

 

IN SUMMARY: LOOKING FOR LOVE WHEREVER WE ARE

For some, Easter may just be about the chocolate and hot cross buns.  For me, it’s a chance to talk with my boys about love and forgiveness.  As a spiritually-led parent, I’m always on the look-out for opportunities to emphasise the power of Love in our lives, however they present themselves.  If I was living in a different culture, I would be looking for the same opportunities amongst a different set of stories and traditions.   We are spiritual beings, looking for what resonates.  Love & forgiveness resonate for me.

 

Much love to you and your little souls,

 

PS – What Does Easter mean for you and your family?

 

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2 replies
    • Julie
      Julie says:

      Thanks Tracey! This one was a bit of a challenge for me but I find writing the posts helps me to clairfy my point of view and parent more deliberately. I hope they do the same for you. 🙂

      Reply

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