Easter banners adorn the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Trail. Reverend Meridyth Robertson (and husband Reverend Gavin Robertson) have ministered from the church’s sanctuary since 1996.

What is the true meaning of Easter?

Amid the chocolate and bunnies, local Christian leaders offer their thoughts on Easter

Is the message of Easter being lost in a whirlwind few days of chocolate eggs and bunnies?

And where does the Easter bunny and sweet treats fit into Christianity’s main event, if at all?

Seeking answers to these questions, the Trail Times asked four of the community’s Christian leaders about the true meaning of Easter, and if its significance is being heard outside their church walls.

“As a Christian, Easter really is the most important part of Christian life,” said Reverend Meridyth Robertson from the First Presbyterian Church. “Being that Christ died on the cross for our sins and then was raised again so we have life everlasting with him.

“The bodily resurrection is so that we know death is not the end.”

Carrying that message to the younger generation presents challenges because of the marketing blitz, beginning in early March, that only focuses on material things.

“The true meaning of Easter and Christmas for that matter, is so bombarded with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, I think it’s confusing for kids,” Robertson explained. “For most kids now, if they haven’t gone to church or Sunday school, if you did a survey of 10 kids, maybe two would say what the real meaning is.”

So, what does the bunny, eggs and sweets have to do with Easter?

While the first records of an Easter bunny date to the 1500’s, its symbolism differs slightly depending upon who is answering the question.

Chocolate and bunnies are symbols of false hope, says the Minister of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. “I think the problem our society has with Easter is that we have a problem with pain and failure,” explained Reverend Neil Elliot. “I believe the message we give our kids is, ‘Expect your life to be awesome and full of success.’”

He says it’s ironic we tell children this because few have lived that life.

“The story of Easter is a pain-filled story of betrayal, failure and death,” he continued. “But it is through that betrayal, failure and death that Jesus achieves the victory he came for.”

Elliot says it is incumbent upon the community to be alongside young people who experience the inevitable pain of life, but not by giving them false comfort.

“Not saying, ‘It’ll be okay,’ but saying ‘God is with you in this hurt,’” he added.

Pastor Ron Abresch, from the West Kootenay Lutheran Churches, said in his place of worship, the Day of Our Lord’s Resurrection is celebrated.

“I don’t like using bunnies or eggs as metaphors,” said Abresch, who ministers in East Trail’s Peace Trinity Lutheran Church. “In my opinion, they are too forced. I don’t use spring-time as a metaphor much either.”

For many people in the world, Easter is called pasqua, or pasque, which is derived from “Passover.”

“It is celebrated at the beginning of autumn, so there isn’t a real connection to springtime,” explained Abresch.

He said youngsters often come to church with Easter candy and such, but they understand the difference between the death and resurrection of Jesus and the Easter Bunny.

“I guess I don’t worry too much about bunnies, eggs and sweets that are around each Easter,” he noted. “They are kind of fun and often bring family and friends together.”

Father Bart van Roijen from Holy Trinity Parish, notes that the modern Easter symbols were Christianized from earlier pagan traditions.

The fecundity of rabbits, the tomb-like appearance of an egg shell, the flowers that arraign tables, were re-packaged into signs of New Life, Resurrection and the Joy of the Gospel, he added.

“We must also remember that the Easter message is counter-cultural; it always has been and will always be,” the priest explained. “It requires faith, the ability to see beyond that which is and satisfies our immediate needs, to that which satisfies our restless hearts.”

Easter is much more than, “what happens to people after they die,” he said.

“I am convinced that, if we as Christians truly understood the Easter message, we would be more joyful, more compassionate, more generous, more willing to suffer for the sake of the other, more self-giving, more forgiving, more trusting and hope-filled.”

 

Just Posted

Centennials end Trail Smoke Eaters’ win streak

The Trail Smoke Eaters lost a close 6-4 match to the Merritt Centennials on Saturday

34 Columbia Basin projects to get kids active

Columbia Basin Trust gives over $500,000 in PLAYS Capital Improvement Grants

Itty bitty art

VISAC Gallery is located in the basement of the Selkirk College building in downtown Trail

Free Family Day fun for Greater Trail

Public skating in Rossland and Trail are a few of the free offerings for families this weekend

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read