First Published in Trinity Times April 2018
I love eggs. I am told that my eggs benedict is one of the best around, to the point that I have spoiled that dish when my family and friends go out for breakfast (a fine tradition in itself) and they can not bring themselves to order the eggs benedict … “It won’t be as good as yours,” they say.
One year I gave up eggs for Lent. That was a mistake. Trudi’s birthday always falls during lent and her favourite celebration treat is Lemon Feather Cake (you can google it from the Canadian Living website). But that year I tried to make her a cake with out eggs … therein lies my mistake … cake with out eggs is like Easter Worship without Hallelujah. “The cake isn’t risen,” you might say.
Some sources claim the giving up of eggs during Lent started with the prelude of Shrove Tuesday with the devoted monks clearing out the larder – hence the pancake feast (thanks to St. Ansgar for hosting us this year), and then on Easter Sunday – the monks can go back to having eggs again.
In my British tradition we decorated eggs and then rolled them down a hill. Our family still decorates eggs. In Germany some people hang decorated eggs on a tree.
Surely there is a significance to all this eggery? As a child, I was taught the egg represents the stone in front of the tomb were Jesus had been laid and rolling the eggs down a hill answers the women’s question on that first Easter dawn, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” As for the German Easter Egg Tree … I couldn’t find a definition of why? But I could suggest that Jesus was hung on a cross (sometimes the term “tree” is used for the cross) on Friday, guarded by the stone (the eggs), and then on Easter Sunday the tomb is empty and there is no longer a need for the cross or the stone – God’s work in salvation through Christ has been completed.
Around the world on April 1st (a “fools day” in some traditions) there will coloured eggs in all shapes and sizes and bearing different colours and interiors – some yokey – some chocolatey – some on display on the breakfast table – some hidden in easy or hard to find places. With each egg found, rolled or simply consumed we can remember the meaning – Jesus Christ is risen today – and that’s no yoke!
May your Easter traditions bring the risen Christ into your heart.
Ted & Lydia shared their own Easter Egg Tree. “Ukrainians also roll eggs down a hill.”
More pictures of the German Easter Egg Trees: