I Gave up Celebrating Easter
Easter is around the corner, and it is when Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ. For me, the day will come and go like any regular day, because I don’t connect with Easter. I don’t acknowledge Christ when Easter comes around, or bunnies, egg hunts and the advent of spring.
As a professing Christian and believer, the former bothered me for the longest time, but it wasn’t just Easter, I don’t resonate with Christmas, Baptism (I’m baptized) and Communion (I take it) either. They don’t tug at the strings of my heart like I believe they should. However, a few years ago, I decided to key into Christmas, and it is now my favorite holiday, but it is rarely about celebrating the birth of Christ. My head knows it should be, but my heart does not connect. Christmas for me in the United States conjures up memories of family coming together and sharing a meal and quality time. Growing up in Nigeria, the memories are of the attires, the festivities, and the cooking and sharing of a meal.
Holidays and rituals attached to Christ don’t resonate with me.
Heck! There was a time my birthday did not resonate with me, and I still rarely celebrate my birthday.
Anyways, in the years I was most bothered by my detachment to Easter celebrations, I did my best to sit still and reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ whenever the holiday came around. But the day still came and went, and I’m always unable to reflect, and frankly, to care.
After much reflection and guilt, I realized and accepted that I move best to the rhythm of my faith in the everyday routine of life, good and bad. I connect with the tenets of my faith in the quiet moments of reading Scripture, in the silent plea for forgiveness for that reoccurring blunder and in the moments I vent or sulk at God about an unanswered prayer. I feel more alive, present and engaged when doubt drops in the middle of a dark valley, and I wonder if God is a fallacy and the Gospel a myth. I am more grounded when I raise my hands in surrender even though my heart aches at yet another seemingly broken promise. Easter is real when moments of inexplicable joy, assurance, and peace wrapped in contemplation radiates through my core after a simple bible verse calms my anxieties and fears. These moments create a desire in me to thoroughly examine and question the truth in the Divine. I find that it is my prerogative to query the Divine and call him out, even though I know some of the answers I may not get or even understand. It is his prerogative to chose to respond or not and to call me right back out.
Hence we push and pull, but though I question and continue to do so, I find that the changes in my life that faith in Christ enables are real, but I still ask all the questions I have, I push back, and I challenge some of his words to his face. This for me is faith, a solid foundation, and an experiential, defining, and refining journey.
So Easter, for me, symbolizes assurance, even in my slips, falls, and flaws, because the one who has the resolution to all the questions I have resurrected. My “easter celebration” is in this everyday walk of moving through life, hand in handswith Christ and feet walking in pace with God. At the end of the day, I decided God is God, and he speaks for himself. I can’t follow blindly, it is not who I am, but I’m learning to surrender enough to even accept that I may never connect with Easter.