Friday, March 15, 2013

Do I Distrust Institutions?

Well, the short answer is yes and that would make for a quick blog entry!  But let me expound a bit...

The Easter season is fast approaching, and the best way one can know that, at least in suburbia, is the prominence of advertisements for church Easter egg hunts.  The signs are everywhere.  It's all over Facebook.  "Over 4,000 Eggs Hidden!" read one sign I passed yesterday.  Another local church is having 4, yes four, Easter egg hunts to serve you better (with 90,000 eggs...I swear I'm not making this up.)

My question is why the church wants to sub-contract the responsibilities of the family.  Why don't we equip the family to be a family instead of substituting for that role?  One of my zillion favorite memories of growing up was our annual family Easter egg hunt.  Every Easter, we would either gather in the "woods" of my grandparents' property or in their living room in the event of inclement weather.  And the three Probert kids and whatever other cousins made it home for Easter would search for eggs.    They were real eggs by the way.  You know, like the ones that come out of a chicken, and you hard boil them, and you color them with your family, and you don't buy them, and they're not plastic?  One special plastic egg was hidden for each child that had a few coins in it.  And there weren't thousands of eggs.  I can imagine the sign for our event: "Over 3 Dozen Eggs Hidden!" Every time I walk through those "woods" I still reminisce about some of the more creative hiding places they came up with.  I even pretend like maybe there was just one egg that wasn't found yet...

That's it.  The family Easter egg hunt.  Simple eh?  Yep.  And maybe that's exactly why it was so special.  And because my family who loved us did this for and with us.  And they didn't subcontract our family time to the church, or any other institution.  Maybe the greatest threat to true Christian discipleship in the world today is the breakdown of the family.  And maybe the church, in an attempt to help, is actually contributing.  Maybe the church should put its energy into being the church and allowing families to be the same.  But then again, that's not what institutions do...

Thank God I grew up in a home where we didn't even know what an institution was, let alone rely on it to be our family.  Church...let's wake up.

2 comments:

Ben said...

Brett,
Unfortunately your memories of the Easter egg hunt in your past are not applicapable today. Let me explain:
1. Holding an egg hunt in the woods today is a dangerous concept. Someone could fall, get poked by a stick or get lost. If any of those happened who would be responsible? Are you willing to risk a law suit for an egg hunt? Not only that but what are "woods" any way?
2. Using real eggs? Uh, hello? Have you ever heard of salmonella? Seriously. An egg could spoil and possibly poison the innocent child. I'm not paying your attorney fees!
3. 1 plastic egg for each child? That's not fair. How can you control that each child only gets 1? It wouldn't be fair. Also, the said child could swallow a coin and choke. Lawsuit anyone?
4. Are you saying you didn't have a sign advertising your egg hunt? That's discrimination. What if your neighbor wanted to participate. For one they wouldn't know about it and second you wouldn't include them? The ACLU would have a field day with you.

As a parent I would not want the responsibility or the liability of having an "egg hunt". I'm not even going to discuss the environmental impact of potential lost rotting eggs. Re-using plastic eggs is green and so should you be. As far as the institutions holding these egg hunts, how else do you expect children to learn the real meaning of Easter? Are we supposed to tell them about the Easter Bunny on our own? I find your post out of touch and out of date. As far as our family goes we will be attending 6 egg hunts this year. Afterwards we will confiscate all the candy from the kids and teach them the real life lesson that candy leads to many diseases including and not limited to diabetes and childhood obesity. Now that's parenting in 2013.

Brett said...

Ben, you are a piece of work. I knew I could count on you!!!