It is very interesting to observe Easter in a western context after having lived all my life in the far east. For instance, what is an egg hunt? In all my years as a Christian living in Hong Kong, I had never encountered an “easter egg hunt.” Why are we looking for eggs when the our savior has been resurrected? Why chocolate eggs? Do bunnies even lay eggs? These questions were all running through my head as I volunteered for my first easter egg hunt my sophomore year in college. Our church had roped off an area about 50 by 60 feet, and then dumped a bunch of plastic eggs on the ground. Little kids would proceed to just pick up eggs before all the eggs were gone. This hardly seemed like an egg “hunt” to me, but rather a scramble to see who could pick up the most eggs. Then I was asked to slip into a bunny suit to say “hi” to kids and so that parents could take cute photos of their kids with a bunny. WHAT WAS HAPPENING?!
To be honest, I don’t remember celebrating a single Easter with my parents in Hong Kong. I remember every single Christmas vividly, but can’t pinpoint a single Easter memory. My first memory of Easter was my freshman year in college when I realized for the first time that people celebrated Easter and that it IS actually a big deal. This is not an indictment on my parents, they loved Jesus and raised my to have a strong conviction in my beliefs. However, they never got into the “spirit” of celebrating these special days. So we probably went about our day as usual: church, lunch, nap, and then dinner.
So, back to my moment sitting in a bunny costume: I realized that there was value in these egg hunts and bunny costumes, just as there might be value in Santa Claus at Christmas. It fills a child’s heart with expectation and anticipation. There’s an excitement for Easter! And while at first it might be for chocolate eggs instead of Jesus, God progressively reveals himself to us so that our anticipation for the day will be about Him. And so I continued to hide eggs, and I continued hop about like a bunny, because getting kids excited about Easter was worth it!