Apr 25, 2019

The new Christian question: Where did Jesus go?

A certain Sunday every year, brings together a confusing mix of eggs and bunnies colored with an overwhelming brightness of baby colors that would make any proper goth, or mere pessimist cringe upon sight.

Flowers- real, plastic, paper or edible- make up the festive décor, while baskets are put together with similarly colored candy and cheap dollar store prizes. Families and friends raise beer bottles in cheers, while meat barbecues and everyone enjoys a pleasant and relaxing day.

What comes off better as a celebration of the arrival of spring, particularly short lived in Fresno, is in actuality the yearly shindig labeled as Easter Sunday thrown to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hmmm, say what?!

Now, I’m not knocking gatherings. I’ll take good company, beer and some carne asada any day, over my plain and lonesome PB & J sandwich. What really bothers me about the event goes beyond silly rabbits, snubbing biology with their egg hatching capabilities, but originates from the conflicting elements of such religious holidays.

Why do self-professed Christians go to such great, and often outlandish, trouble to celebrate a God that preached humility and simplicity of life? And even more importantly, why has the holiday, along with much that relates to religion, turned away from What Would Jesus Do to Where Did Jesus Go?

In my years of attending Easter Sundays with different family members and friends, not once do I remember seeing a sticker of Jesus on Easter eggs or noticing his mug on a piece of cake. I can’t even remember hearing the name mentioned, with the exception of course, of someone calling out to their cousin Jesús.

The closest thing to a religious reference I’ve seen is the “Hear My Prayer” clasped chocolate hands my twenty-four year old sister was given, which even at that, chocolate hands in prayer form are far from appetizing.

And this may be the gist of the missing Jesus phenomenon, in attempts to skip away from anything that may be considered blasphemous, like drinking JC labeled beer or hiding little Jesus figurines stuffed with candy, the figure of Jesus has become so far removed from the celebration that now, he’s not just placed on the back burner, but practically kicked to the curb to make way for the candy bearing rabbit.

Even the people that flock to churches for their yearly redeeming visit only devout about an hour to their honored God, while the rest of the day is spent focusing on the puzzling rabbits and their eggs. It’s like celebrating your best friend’s birthday every year by taking them out to breakfast then telling them they’re not invited to the day-long bash of food, booze and candy you’ve been planning for weeks.

This, along with other acts of hypocritical forgetfulness, is what constantly turns me away from organized religion. It’s my belief that everything is best when clear and upfront. A religious holiday that places their honored star outside of the celebration hardly reduces skepticism of religious practices with obscure purposes.

As I told my brother, I’m a believer, I’m just not sure of the particularities. But I am sure however, that it’s no coincidence every instance that has made me question organized religion goes back to the afore mentioned question: WDJG?

Until He’s found, religious holidays will continue to be just bunnies and eggs.

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