March 28, 2018
                          No. 213

Aliens and Easter

Imagine being an alien dropped onto planet Earth for a short period to try to figure out humans. 

Imagine if that happened just before Easter!

Let’s see . . . bunny rabbits, Easter Lilies, the story of a man executed on a cross, the man coming back to life, proving he’s a god, painted eggs, chocolate eggs, holidays on Friday and Sunday, instead of Monday, hot-cross buns and Easter bread. Masses of people “getting out of town,” choosing the palm over the pomp. What’s the theme here?

And then there’s the funny date: the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the spring equinox (but you have to consider the equinox to have been on March 21, even if it really was on March 20). This was all decreed by the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.


“These people are so random!” the alien concludes.

His report back home vacillates between the hilarious and the alarming. “We’d better protect ourselves from people who do strange, inconsistent, random things.”

But, of course, we’re not aliens. These things aren’t so random. We’re logical human beings and these things all make perfect sense! There must be a consistent theme! Surely! Please . . .!

If you dig hard enough, like that English teacher over the poem you didn’t understand in high school, you may extract it.

Historians suggest that modern Easter is really the product of three separate traditions, the Jewish celebration of Passover, the Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection, and fertility cults (represented by Easter eggs) that pre-date the Christian era.Call me that high school English teacher (which I’m not) but, to me, regardless of their origin, the modern symbols and experiences of Easter do have somewhat of a common theme, that of new life emerging out of death. This is seen in the Christian story, in the springtime rebirth of plant life after the dormancy of winter, in the embryonic new life represented in the eggs, in the actual new life represented by the bunnies (their species noted for prolific growth), and in the Easter Lilly.

These symbols remind us that success is often born out of failure, that new dreams are often built upon the death of old ones, that, for every sullen winter of our lives, there is usually a spring awaiting.

Not so random.

The chocolates and Easter cards, though? Let’s just say that’s the commercial side taking advantage of an opportunity.

And the palm trees? Well, do we really need to justify them? . . . maybe something for those lying under them to ponder (I’m jealous!).

At least, that’s how I see it . . .


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