The Easter Bunny
As a child, I remember thinking it was weird that the Easter Bunny brought eggs. And exasperating that no one else thought that was a bit strange. Being the person in the family responsible for snatching
eggs from beneath cranky setting hens, I knew for sure where eggs came from.
Turns out, though, there really is a logical explanation for the egg-bearing bunny. According to Wikipedia, German Lutherans apparently established the tradition of the “Easter Hare.”
But far from the cuddly bunny with big pink ears, the original Easter bunny (after all these were not only Lutherans, but GERMAN Lutherans) was actually a stern judge-bunny, dispensing his coveted eggs only to those children who had been good over the Lenten season.
And as for the eggs, early churches abstained from them during Lent. And lacking refrigeration, the only way to keep them from spoiling was to boil them so they could eat them after the fast was ended. And they probably decorated them as part of the celebration. So that explains a lot.
But I still find an Easter bunny (especially a chocolate one) distracting to the Easter message of resurrection and hope. I don’t think the idea of the Easter bunny is harmful to children; I just think it shortchanges them because it misses the life-giving Easter message of hope; the gift of new beginnings,
I don’t have fond memories of the annual Easter egg hunt, where my basket always needed help from the Sunday School teacher. In retrospect, I know this was because of my uncorrected myopia, but still, I think I would have preferred to learn about the Easter Lily.
One thought on “The Easter Bunny”
You’re not alone, M.. Recall my first Easter. Mother told me come outside and look what the EASTER BUNNY left me.. I found in our front yard, a nest made from pine straw, filled with colored eggs.. Had great doubt about this, because as you, I KNEW where eggs came from, I’d often ‘borrow’ one or two to mix in my mud pies.. Soon learned this wasn’t a good idea.. My mud pies would reek after a few days,,, …! But I didn’t dare question… Felt the same way first time I saw Santa Claus, recall thinking, “this guy ‘CAN’T’ be for real !” Guess you can label me a cynical little kid ! Something I never really out grew..”)k