True meaning of Easter missing on some youth

By Deborah Gordon

Easter Sunday is quickly approaching, marking a joyous day of celebration for Christians around the world.  In Florida, as in other regions of the US, and throughout the Caribbean, church services on this day is normally one of the most well-attended of the year, as entire families come out to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

Yet, although adults may know the reason for the holy occasion, do the youth?  

Typing the word ‘Easter’ in Google, images results in a plethora of pictures of happy bunny rabbits and colorful eggs. Is Easter, to this generation, more about Jesus or about fluffy stuffed animals and egg hunts?  

Easter bunny birthday

According to godandpoliticsuk.org, a survey was done in the United Kingdom to answer this very question. They found “that 53 percent of the children surveyed didn’t know the meaning of Easter and one-quarter thought that it is about celebrating the Easter bunny’s birthday.”

Minority of youth understands meaning of Easter

Here in Florida, asking the similar question to some young people under 18, reveals a disconnect as to exactly what Easter means. A very small minority knew that Easter stands for Christ’s resurrection, and more alarming, some teens didn’t even understand what exactly the resurrection of Christ means. It’s also remarkable, and even ironic, that several South Florida teens have expressed their intent of attending Easter services this year, despite not understanding what Easter is all about.  

This has become a great concern for many parents, who worry that the true meaning of Christian festivals are quickly being obscured by pagan rituals.

For this reason, many parents are looking for creative ways to reinforce what Easter is really about.

Tools parents can use

According to Kim Wier of focusonthefamily.com, “Bunnies, eggs, floral baskets and more can become tools that parents use to bring a greater understanding of the message of Easter [to their young children].”  She states that since Easter is an opportune time to talk to your children about God’s love and mercy, the Easter bunny can be used as a representation of God’s true character.  

For example, Easter bunnies “are white as snow because Jesus takes all sin away (Isaiah 1:18b),” and “have big ears that are quick to listen” (James 1:19),  “are quiet in prayer, but hop with thanksgiving and rejoicing, (Philippians 4:4-6), ” and “have big feet to go tell others about Jesus so they can be like Easter bunnies, too (Matthew 28: 19-20).”

A Florida pastor concurs, saying: “It is becoming more challenging to motivate young people to attend church or to teach them about Christian milestones like Easter. Therefore, using fun and innovative means is a great way to teach the youth about Easter’s true meaning, as it is important they hold true to these principles which have remained a vital part of life for many generations.”

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