Early Christians had allot of symbols.
The dove. The fish. The Lamb. The pelican. The peacock … and of course, the Easter Bunny.
It is without question that nearly all Christian symbols are adaptations of pre-Christian symbols, Dr. Ralph F. Wilson writes. With that said, there is a certain sort of believer that expresses concern over anything “pagan” in Christian symbols.
I understand the concern. But think about this: Is there no greater symbol of the godless cruelty of paganism than the cross?
I once heard a pastor rail against the Easter Bunny for similar reasons. It’s the Easter Bunny, I thought, not Santa Muerte for chrissake!
His argument was that there’s not reasonable application for this family-friendly egg-laying hare. But I disagree!
God meets you were you are.
He also meets people in ways that you can understand and appreciate. So, why wouldn’t He meet the children of the world where they are and in ways they understand and appreciate — like the Easter Bunny?
Be it Peter Rabbit, Peter Cottontail, or Benjamin Bunny, nothing is as cute and cuddly to a pre- and elementary schooler, as a bunny rabbit!
The key is to make a bridge from cute and cuddly to orthodoxy in Faith. This is how we did it in our Christian household.
Starting on Ash Wednesday, along with fasting between meal and eating fish on Friday, we also eliminate dessert. This sacrifice gives us the opportunity, as parents, to discuss how Jesus sacrificed His life for us.
Additionally, we can introduce the biblical story on how He started His ministry with a 40-day fast in the desert.
You’ll be amazed, as were we, by the questions your children begin to ask and the depth of their understanding.
However, giving up dessert and convincing your three-year-old to sacrifice his or her fruit snack is not an easy task. That’s where the Easter Bunny comes in!
“Jesus takes account of all you cheerfully give to Him (in this case gives up) and He will repay you tenfold,” I tell my children.
The 10-fold comes on Easter Sunday, in the form of a massive Easter Egg hunt. And of course, who delivers all that candy for Christ?
The Easter Bunny, that’s who!
Put the “Easter” back in Easter Bunny and let God meet your children were they are and in ways that they can understand and appreciate — and they will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life!
James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.