Finding Easter Eggs
If someone asks you “What are Easter Eggs?” you will of course talk either about the tradition of the red egg dyed by St. Mary Magdalene as a symbol of the death and resurrection of Christ, or the custom of coloring eggs in all different colors that developed from that. Or you might mention the search for these eggs that kids go on each year at Easter.
What you might be surprised to know is that there is another meaning to the term “Easter egg” which has nothing to do with what you and I know as Easter eggs. Because of the act of “hunting” for Easter eggs, filmmakers and video game creators have begun to hide what they call “Easter eggs” in their productions. These “Easter eggs” are little, hidden treasures placed by producers to be found by vigilant movie watchers and gamers. They might be cameo appearances by famous people (or themselves, as Alfred Hitchcock loved to do), or they might be references to their other films or films made by their friends. When George Lucas was making the first Star Wars prequel, he arranged for a cameo appearance by the character “ET” from the film of the same name produced by his friend Steven Spielberg. So the art of the search for hidden treasures has entered a new realm.
Our life in the Church offers us the same opportunity—finding the “hidden treasures” left out to be discovered in living our Orthodox Faith more deeply and fully. Although the Church doesn’t hide them, in a world so filled with busyness, noise and activity, discovering the treasures waiting to be found in the daily life of the Church can feel like finding an “Easter egg.” Sometimes it’s an aspect of the life of a Saint remembered on a certain day that happens to strike a chord with us. It might be the words to a hymn of a particular feastday. It could be the entire Feast itself, which was previously either unknown to us or not understood. That “ah ha!” moment of enlightenment can feel like finding hidden treasure.
Today in the life of the Church is one of those often-ignored treasures. The Feast of “Mid-Pentecost” is what the name implies: we are halfway between Pascha and the Feast of Pentecost which falls 50 days later. We are also halfway between the healing of the paralytic by the pool of Bethesda which we celebrated this past Sunday and the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman which comes up this Sunday. Both have to do with water, and the refreshment and healing brought by Christ. There’s so much more to it, but I’ll let you discover more for yourself by reading an article on the Antiochian Archdiocese webpage.
So where do we find them? The best place is to go to Church. Going only to the Sunday Liturgy—as wonderful as that is, and as challenging as that can be for others—means that we’ll miss 90% of what the Church offers us each week. It’s one of the reasons Holy Week is so meaningful: we get the meaning and beauty by going to Church each day that we normally miss. When we can’t go to Church, we can read the life of the saints of the day in books (see our bookstore for more info) or a variety of webpages. We can use our annual Church calendars and read the readings for each day. These are but some of the ways we can find the treasures we too often miss.
So let’s be blessed by finding these “Easter eggs” available to us each and every day. These treasures will go unnoticed unless we leave our “normal” routines of everyday life, and decide to live every day in the Kingdom of God. So let’s go find them–Happy hunting!