I was looking for words for my Easter greeting and then received the following in my inbox… it was exactly what my husband Tim and I had been talking about on our walk earlier in the day. I couldn’t write or say it better:
Many of us grew up celebrating Easter as the holiday where a cute little bunny rabbit brought chocolate and other delicious treats for everyone to eat. All we had to do was look diligently for the eggs hidden around the house and eventually it would lead us to the only thing we cared about: that giant basket of goodies.
Many are still celebrating Easter in a similar fashion. It’s become tradition – it’s just what we do. This year I have a radical suggestion: start a new tradition. Something that goes much, much deeper than a furry rabbit & candy.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’d be lying if I told you there was no chocolate involved in my Easter weekend. I’d also be lying if I told you there were no Peeps or other marshmallow-y related food products. Or jelly beans. Or Twizzlers. There’s nothing wrong with having a little egg hunt & candy at Easter – it’s fun. But there is something wrong when Easter becomes all about the bunnies and the eggs and the chocolate.
Easter is actually The Greatest Story Ever Told – yet mankind has managed to water it down to an opportunity to devour a few extra M&M’s and are actually ‘offended’ when they hear it. How could that be? What’s offensive about this: The very first Easter weekend – three days that changed the world forever – took place over 2,000 years ago. Mankind was lost, floundering – headed for destruction. But because God so loved the world, He gave his one and only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him will never die & have eternal life. And like the good Shepherd, Jesus laid down His life for the flock – and suffered greatly in doing so. He didn’t have to – but He did. That is why we celebrate.
And that is why we need to start a new tradition this Easter – whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, still thinking about it (come on already!), etc – because the holiday has nothing to do with chocolate. It’s about showing love. Instead of just pounding some creme eggs & jelly beans – reach out to a friend or neighbor or total stranger. Get to know them – and look for ways you can help them. Donate your time. Donate some food. Whatever it is, just find a way to help someone in need.
America’s woes are easily solvable with that one, powerful, incredible word: love. That is why we are gathering this summer for Restoring Love in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium – to remind people of our greater purpose and stir us to action. It’s also why I have great hope – because I know the American people & what we are capable of when we put our minds, and more importantly our hearts, to something.
I look forward to hearing about your new Easter tradition – one that I believe will save the country.
Have a great Easter!
Glenn Beck – April 6, 2012 (A man who has been demonized and could use our prayers as well!)
If you don’t know the story make it a goal to go to a church on Easter Sunday or an Easter pageant, watch a video, pick up the Bible or ask someone to tell you the story… It could change your life, even if it doesn’t convert you. As Glenn says… It is a story of love.
I grew up a Christmas-Easter Catholic; my parents were burnt out Catholic school survivors from Europe, where the nuns ruled the classroom and the church had a lot of affect over their lives… until the Nazis took over. My husband occasionally went to church with the neighbors when he was a child and neither of us went to church regularly until we found a church together and re-dedicated our lives at age 40. Yet because life was different when we grew up, we had enough of the basics and knew enough of the teachings that God and tradition were always part of our lives and decisions. ‘He’ was at the center of American life.
The 14 years we spent involved with our children in the Glory of Easter (and Christmas) pageants and other church activities were some of the best of our lives. They gave each holiday real meaning… not just baskets, bunnies, presents, trees, parties and celebrations.