Inside the Golden Easter Egg
I opened up the Grand Prize Golden Easter Egg at the Hunt and it was empty. Puzzled I opened the Second Prize Silver Egg and inside was a vial of water, a candle, a bell, and a copy of Plato’s Republic with the page of the “allegory of the cave” dog-eared. If you smell one allegory there might be two.
You may remember he allegory of the cave. People were sitting in a cave enjoying the shadows cast on the far side of the cave, intrigued and delighted. But someone had the idea of turning around and when he did, he saw the light of the sun shining in through an opening to the outside. The shadows in the cave were lovely, but they were only images of a greater reality. The Allegory asserts that there is so much MORE to life for us to discover. This must be why Plato’s Republic was in my egg.
St. John, our patron at this church, writes that Jesus is the light of the world. Each year at the Easter Vigil a new candle is lit to shine in the darkness. This Sunday morning we bring this candle into our church and each of us lights a candle from its fire as a sign that we too carry God’s light into the world. And so the candle in my egg makes sense.
We recollect on Easter Day that the Children of Israel passed safely through the deadly Red Sea on their path to freedom from slavery in Egypt. Water is a powerful element. From water crawled the first life on earth; in water, inside our mothers, our infant bodies formed, and through water came slaves to freedom. This is why Baptism is a symbol of cleaning and also passage to new life. It is immanently understandable that a vial of water is in my second prize egg.
The bell also makes sense. Easter is the time we put away the solemnity and self-reflection we began for Lent. In Easter we abandon our souls to sheer joy. We shout the festive cry “Alleluia” which means “Praise God”, and we repeat it over and over again with relish. This Sunday we take up again the Angelic hymn, “Glory to God in the Highest” and to add to the joy we ring bells. Lots of bells. Loudly. This year we also ring again our carillon after many years repaired from a lightning strike. Yes the bell makes sense.
But these symbols were in the Second Prize Egg. Why was the First prize egg empty? It was empty because the tomb was empty. Death has lost its sting. Hell gives up its prisoners. Jesus rises from the dead. Alleluia! Death has no dominion over him! God has raised him as he promised! Mary Magdalene announced it to the disciples! Shout and sing, ring out your joy! Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! Let me wish you all a happy and blessed Easter. With love ~ Father John+