Despite capitalism’s best efforts, there are some important ways in which Easter stubbornly resists secularization. There are eggs and bunnies and flowers and all sorts of pagan remainders, yes…but there is also a dead man. A cross. Lots of blood. And a tale about resurrection that just won’t go away. The holiday is, after all, supposed to culminate in church. Despite all the “add-ons” that constantly seek to draw us away, when compared to the deeply commercialized Christmas, Easter is much more about core Christian theology.
The week before Easter is known as “Holy Week.” Today, in particular, is “Holy Wednesday,” the day when the Church has–among other things–historically reflected on Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. Disillusionment and thirty pieces of silver, and the drama we replay and relive every year is on its way.
Betrayal. Many people resonate with the word and the actions and feelings that surround it. Indeed, much of Holy Week and the accompanying story contains a panoply of emotions and events with which we are very familiar: loss, shame, death, despair, political frustrations, confusion, ignorance, and grief. That this week can encapsulate all of these things (and more) and walk us through them is not only emotionally cleansing but also spiritually rigorous. Just as Christ himself was God incarnate (“in the flesh”), so too this week is simultaneously human and divine…mixing together great cosmic themes on the most human of stages.
It is important for us to walk through this week, pre-Sunday, in sober reflection of all it contains. To not get caught up in eggs, plastic grass, chocolate candies, anthropomorphic bunnies, and the like. Their time will come…but it isn’t now. In these days leading up to Easter morning, there is something more here. Something very important indeed.