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Hope & Chocolate

Warning: The following words contain the personal views of the writer. So, what else is new?

For those of us living in the United States, we do like our holidays. We like them because there is food involved. Name an American holiday where there is no food involved, I dare ya. My extra 20 pounds double dare ya. You say Thanksgiving Day and I think pumpkin pie. You say Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day and I think barbecue and picnics. You say Valentine's Day and I think chocolate. You say Christmas and I think every single food I have stayed away from all year and what the heck, it's the end of the year and a new year is dawning so I can hit reset after I eat some of everything! My favorite holiday has got to be Easter. Come on, who doesn't like those yummy chocolate eggs promoted by a sweet bunny that clucks like a chicken? And who hasn't impatiently waited for marshmallow baby chicks who came to us, in a pack of four, only at Easter until the demand became so great that the creators relented and now sell them all year long and in different colors? Our family usually has Ham and salad and cheesy biscuits and baked cheesecake at Easter. However, this year, our master ham cooker went and got COVID! At least I know that the hambone will eventually make its way to me and I will make some yummy split pea soup. My point is that we tend to blur over the meaning of our holidays because we are enjoying them. Enjoying is not a bad thing. Forgetting is not so good.

So, back to my favorite holiday, Easter. It is the one holiday not chosen by my world at random. It always happens near the Jewish holiday, Pesach (Passover) when their history of freedom and hope is celebrated. The Jewish people took blood from a sacrificed lamb and painted it over their outer doors, thus saving them from certain death (Exodus 12, Old Testament Bible). Just over 2000 years ago, a Jewish man, named Jesus, was unjustly accused and sent to his death. The blood he physically shed was then spiritually sent across the world offering everyone the gift of freedom from death and hope for the future. The promise of freedom and hope came when he rose from the dead three days later...on what we now call Easter.

The best part is that I don't have to search for or earn it. It is not hidden in the tall grass of rules. The Ten Commandments are good rules. We follow them and our lives are better for it, as is society's well-being. But they serve a second reason for their existence and that is to show us we are not perfect on our own, nor will we ever be perfect on our own. Christianity believes, or it should believe, that Jesus was the final sacrificial Passover lamb, and accepting that can fill us with freedom and hope. So, you see, I believe that a cute bunny with a chocolate egg isn't the focus of Easter. The focus of Easter is the Lamb that offers the golden egg, lying in plain sight for each of us to pick up, put in our basket, and take home in our hearts. If you have gotten this far and are thinking, "Wow, she has gone to the wacko religious side now" I can tell you this. Today is Easter. I don't want that yummy food to dull my senses to the meaning of Easter for me.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12) Life is full of hopes and dreams that we wait for, strive for, or watch helplessly as they fade away out of our grasp. Our hearts feel pain, making our inner beings feel sick. The holiday of Life is no longer something to be celebrated. Instead, we eat, drink, and (try to) be merry (Ecclesiastes 8:15). In the Bible, there is a lot of acknowledgment by those we look to as spiritual leaders, who also experienced the chains of life and the darkness of despair. On the third day, after Jesus' sacrifice and death, He overcame the chains and the darkness by rising from the dead, not just for a little while but, like, forever.

Because of that, I celebrate the freedom and hope I have received. My door has been painted, the deed is done. Even if I could return this golden egg, there are not enough chocolate eggs in the world to trade it for. The good news is that I can still enjoy the split pea soup, the clucking rabbit, and the squishy marshmallow chicks because I also have freedom and hope.

Happy Easter!

My little dog JoJo, sitting on the couch, wearing a pink bunny costume.

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Apr 06
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Love your writings! 💖 Keep them coming! 👍

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