Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Few Good Eggs

I did a little reading about Easter eggs and learned some things that I hadn't known before (click here for Wikipedia's entry). Although decorated eggs are clearly associated with the celebration of Easter, they aren't directly tied to any authentically Christian observance. There may be a connection with early Christianity's roots in Judaism, but it's more likely that Easter eggs are one of those traditions that came to be accepted after-the-fact, an add-on that became popular and simply "stuck." None of that was really a surprise to me. But what I hadn't heard before is that one of the possible reasons for eating eggs at Easter time is that eggs, like meat, were not eaten during lent. Since chickens didn't stop producing there was quite an overstock by the time Easter rolled around! What a mundane beginning for such a playful tradition!

There is even a tradition associated with the beginning of lent called
Pancake Day which served to use up eggs by mixing them into crepe-like pancakes a few days before the season began! This practice is still popular in many countries around the world. That sounds like fun and given Americans' fondness for food I have to wonder why it never caught on here. Maybe it's not too late!

Bright colors and creative designs are always a visual delight, but the real value of an egg is found beneath the painted veneer. Each egg is endowed with potential for sustenance or new life and that is the treasure worth protecting.

Sound familiar?


Here are a few of the "eggs" in my basket...aren't they beautiful?


Steve said...

Hey, Kimberlee. That's cool information about the sudden need to use eggs on Easter. I don't remember hearing that before.

About the pancake day idea...most churches that I know (other than non-liturgical ones) prepare for Lent with pancake suppers on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras). Although most people don't adhere to any strict dietary rules now, the idea grew out of that older discipline of removing all fat (lard) from the house before Lent started. It has become a symbolic reminder that various abstentions are useful spiritual acts, but it's also a good time to get together and EAT.

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Steve. Thanks for stopping by on this beautiful Easter Sunday!

I had no idea that there were churches out there eating pancakes together! I'd certainly have sought one out long ago if I had known! LOL! :)

I think the fact that I've never heard of this tradition is very telling. It's unfortunate that, in an attempt to avoid spiritually dry or empty practices, churches often lose touch with traditions that could be very meaningful and encouraging. Your church seems to have a better understanding of that than most and I have a sneaking suspicion that it has more to do with great leadership than anything else.

Laurie said...

Hey, Kimberlee,

I didn't know the part about the need to use the abundance of eggs either. Speaking of eggs, we just had our Passover seder (yes, the timing was all wrong..)and we included the newer tradition of having a hard-boiled egg. This is symbolic of Pharoah's hardened heart. We did use our dyed eggs for the seder. Jon-Wesley, who won't knowingly be in the same room with an exposed egg (in the shell is okay), made a face that I can only describe as horrific. He would definitely embrace an eggless world, although after a while he would miss the chicken fingers. Love you!


Kimberlee said...

Hey, Laurie! That sounds like a wonderful celebration. The Wikipedia article did mention the inclusion of a hard-boiled egg (dipped in salt water) in the Passover seder, but they linked it to the Passover sacrifice rather than Pharoah. There are so many independent theories about these kinds of things. It's hard to know for sure. But, in any case, it sounds like a meaningful part of your family tradition. Thanks for sharing! And Happy Easter!

Lore said...

THanks so much for your recent comments on my website. It seems like you're doing amazing things up there in Alaska--I hope you are comforted by the nearness of God and that He is your good today!

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Lore!
I have really enjoyed your site. You have a special gift for expressing interesting thoughts in a beautiful way. I look forward to seeing each new post.

Living here (as anywhere) can be difficult at times, but I do see God's hand at work. Whatever challenges, frustrations, or fears might arise, He is always faithful. He doesn't change. That is both humbling and comforting.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll visit again!

Jo said...

Now that had to be fun! What wonderful children you get to surround yourself with all day!

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Jo! Great to hear from you! Yes, I think the kids had fun with their eggs...and YES...each is very special in his/her own unique way. It's been a blessing to get to know them and watch them grow up. Thanks for noticing! :)