Christos Anesti!

31 Mar

Growing up as a Catholic we would always note how full the church was on Christmas and Easter. Now, through the window of social media, it is amusing to see all my secular friends celebrate Christmas and Easter even though they usually loudly proclaim against Jesus and Christianity. Is it just trendy to celebrate a holiday no matter what it is? And among some of these young people, it saddens me to see the life of Jesus made fun of so ruthlessly on Facebook and Twitter. People can be so vulgar, and the strange thing is these are the same people I see fighting daily for their own right to be taken seriously. Why is it acceptable to make fun of and belittle other people’s beliefs while you lament your own discrimination?

Yes, most, if not all, Christian holidays have roots in ancient history. Many, many different religions have similar themes and stories they share. I wouldn’t say Christianity has taken over these holidays, but instead we have taken our narrative and spread it out over the year like anyone else would do. Jesus was born (Christmas), Jesus died (Good Friday), and Jesus rose from the dead (Easter). But there are also many other important days in the liturgy that we look to to carry us on throughout the year.

I don’t see Christmas and Easter as secular holidays. Yes, the 20th and 21st centuries have such increased consumerism that buying presents is linked to almost every major holiday. I think that makes non-Christians think that the holiday no longer has the spiritual meaning it once did or that it is only about family tradition. Is a holiday only important because you might get a day off work or a gift? I certainly don’t want to raise my son in a world where he thinks spirituality runs a lengthy third behind other secular concerns.

Pagans celebrated similar holidays. Instead of detracting or negating from the meanings Christians have infused into their biggest holidays, I think it only adds to the specialness of the day. Easter comes at springtime because Jesus rose from the dead. Just like the world does after every winter. We overcome our own hardships and obstacles, we renew our lives, and for some of us we look to the ultimate example in Jesus who represents nothing but love.

Whether or not you believe in Jesus, isn’t the idea that God, or anyone, loves you unconditionally the best thing in the world? That you can do wrong and ask for forgiveness and you’ll get it? That here in this world, you can be born again and again and again, as long as you have the breath and the willingness to do so? That every Spring, every Easter, every birth, every rebirth, is exactly what God sent his son into the world to do? To give us hope beyond what we can see with our narrow vision?

When you look through eyes brightened by whatever spirituality you possess, the world becomes a miraculous place. David, always excited about his garden every spring, is growing his plants from seeds this year and checks on his seedlings like a mother hen. And gets mad at Petra when she eats the budding leaves. It is amazing that those tiny little seeds will produce food that will nourish our family, as God does for all who let him in.

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