Sunday, April 8, 2012
A few days ago the mail lady, who is very sweet, said to my son as he retrieved the mail, "Happy Egg Day!" He came in the house quite confused. "Mom," he said, with a crease between his brows, "what's Egg Day?"
Well, I tried to gently explain that for some non-Christians, Easter is about eggs and bunnies and candy and an excuse to buy new clothes. That's what I said on the outside. On the inside I hit the ceiling.
I'm so tired of having holy days co-opted for commercial purposes. Christmas is gone. It's all about Santa and presents. People around the world who are confirmed Buddhists, Hindus, atheists and pagans celebrate that day with ornamented trees, twinkling lights, lavish feasts, and a glut of presents. But taking the name of the holiest day on the Christian calendar, the whole reason for our faith, and using it as an excuse to feed your kids yet more sugar, buy them yet more clothes, and have their picture taken sitting on the lap of a giant, terrifying bunny, is not OK with me. Easter is about JESUS!
Just in case you've never heard why there is a day called Easter, or if you ever wondered why it's on a different day every year, here are a few things you should know.
Jesus is God. He came to earth in human form to live a sinless life and die a death he didn't deserve. All people everywhere sin, and the penalty for sin is to be forever separated from God. When we die, we go to a place of eternal torment without God. But, God loves us so much he doesn't want that to happen to us. He wants us to live with him forever, so he sent Jesus to be the sacrifice that pays the price for our sins.
In the Jewish tradition, Passover is celebrated right before Easter and a lamb is killed for the Passover feast. Jesus is our sacrifice, hence the name Lamb of God. Yes, that's where all the Easter lambs come in. Not Bunny of God. Lamb of God.
After Jesus died on the cross, he was buried in a tomb. But the amazing, exciting, wonderful news is that he didn't stay buried. He rose from the dead and was seen by hundreds of witnesses before he ascended to heaven! That means that when we die, we won't stay dead, either.
If you look at your life and can see the sin all over it and know that you've made a mess of things, Easter is for you. It's the chance to get to know Jesus and hear his offer. He says, "Come to me. Give me your sins, and I'll make you clean and give you a new life." Best. Deal. Ever!
I'll throw in a recipe to sweeten the deal. You can think about this post as you bake. And if you decide to take Jesus up on his offer, please let me know. I'd love to pray for you!
White Chocolate Brownies
- adapted from The Baking Bites Cookbook
1/4 cup butter
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz. dark chocolate, cut into chunks
1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F with rack in center of oven. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang (these are the handles to remove the brownies from the pan). Lightly grease the foil.
2- In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt together the butter and white chocolate. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
3- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture.
4- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt over the chocolate mixture and stir until just combined, with no streaks of flour remaining. Stir in the chocolate chunks, then pour the batter into the pan.
5- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6- Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove the brownies front he pan, using the foil as handles. Cut into 25 squares.