I've been filling Easter baskets for 22 years now, and frankly, I'm running out of inspiration. (By the way, if you find the thought of bunnies and baskets not in keeping with the true celebration of Easter, this blog entry isn't for you. I've never had an problems combining the sublime with the ridiculous at Easter or at Christmas). With Easter only a few days away, I decided to change my approach. I declared myself OUT of the Easter Bunny business, and informed Alex and Isaac that each was in charge of his brother's Easter basket. This was almost a guarantee of rather unusual Easter fare, as both are devotees of role playing card and character games. I gave each a small budget and stood back.
They might have been surprised at the change in routine, but they took the news with grace and made their plans. Alex had a moment of doubt after he had been out shopping...He asked me suddenly if he "was supposed to have bought a chocolate bunny". Whatever you think, dear. It's up to you.
About 10:00 last night, there was dissatisfaction in the house. Seems that neither boy wanted to be the FIRST to go to bed. It is hard to hide a basket when the recipient is still up and roaming around. Right. That could be part of the reason I was tired of being the bunny. At length, however, baskets were hidden and lights were extinguished. All was silent.
Christ is risen, Shout hosanna!
Celebrate this day of days!
Christ is risen, Hush in wonder: all creation is amazed.
In the desert all surrounding, see, a spreading tree has grown.
Healing leaves of grace abounding bring a taste of love unknown.
Morning brought the revelation. Not only are the boys good gift shoppers, something appears to have registered from those years of Sunday School lessons and discussion of symbolism in the Church. While a bit unorthodox on the outside, the Easter Basket contents were strangely in keeping with the spirit of the day.
Isaac is the new owner of a Red/Green mixed color deck of Magic: The Gathering cards. Alex's logic was that Green represented the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Cross, mixed together with the Red of the blood of the Lamb. He also included a small pouch of 10-sided dice; dice for the casting of lots for Christ's robe, and 10 as a reminder of the 10 Commandments. The RED marshmallow Peeps stymied us at first, but on closer inspection, they fit as well. Bright red sugar on the outside, pure white on the inside. "Though your sins be as scarlet..."
Christ is risen! Raise your spirits from the caverns of despair.
Walk with gladness in the morning. See what love can do and dare.
Drink the wine of resurrection, Not a servant, but a friend,
Jesus is our strong companion. Joy and peace shall never end.
Alex's basket from Isaac showed no less thought. Isaac chose a "Trinity of Resurrection"; three items representing new life. While the two vampire models aren't exactly going to show up in a Confirmation worksheet, I couldn't argue with the life-out-of-death comparison. The Black/White Magic: The Gathering deck was even more clear cut. Because of the way the cards work with each other, it is possible, yea, even necessary, for someone to Lose a Life so that a Life may be Gained. This was explained to me over the Easter cinnamon rolls.
Christ is risen! Earth and heaven nevermore shall be the same.
Break the bread of new creation where the world is still in pain.
Tell its grim, demonic chorus: "Christ is risen! Get you gone!"
God the first and last is with us. Sing hosanna, everyone!
Vampires and Magic cards in the Easter baskets? Why not? We need have no fear of death or evil.
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
And in the mean time, I believe that the true lessons of the Cross have been well learned.
Brian Wren, 1983, Praising a Mystery, 1986
copyright © 1986 Hope Publishing Co.