It seems Walmart has created a new commercial especially for the season. To the beat of Blondie’s punk rock anthem “One Way or Another,” neighborhood children are shown engaging in intense competition, scrambling to collect Easter eggs for all they’re worth. At the end, a tagline appears: “Easter like you mean it!”
Maybe it’s because I’ve lately been reading Kory Stamper’s new book, “Word by Word; The Secret Life of Dictionaries” (which is excellent by the way) but I believe Walmart’s ad is the first time I’ve ever seen the word Easter used as a verb – I Easter. You Easter. We all Easter … like we mean it! But what’s the alternative? To Easter like we don’t mean it? To insufficiently Easter? And clearly, if “Eastering” is all about coming home with the most copiously overflowing basket of eggs, something fairly important seems to have become lost along the way.
Not that I have any problem with egg hunts. The last thing I want, is to be accused of being whatever the Easter equivalent of the Christmas Grinch might be. I have fond childhood memories of coloring and decorating eggs, and having them hidden for my brothers and me to find all over the house. These days, in a relatively new tradition, plastic eggs are dropped from helicopters by the tens of thousands, in large fields, for huge crowds of children, and even adults. It sounds exciting. It sounds healthy. It sounds like fun. What it doesn’t sound like, at least to me, is Easter.
In an attempt to counter the commercialism of Christmas, we’ve gotten used to saying that Jesus is the “reason for the season.” We encourage one another to “keep Christ in Christmas.” Maybe it’s time to work on keeping Christ in Easter as well. The heart of Easter is the resurrection of Christ, and taking that resurrection into our lives is one of the chief goals of our faith. As Phillips Brooks once said, “The great Easter truth is not that we are to live newly after death, but that we are to be new here and now by the power of the resurrection.” This Sunday, we will once again engage in the great celebration of Easter worship. I hope you’ll plan to join us, as we demonstrate what “Eastering like we mean it” really looks like.
Yours in Grace,