With Easter fast approaching, I knew you would all find this guest post by Linda Rooks fascinating. I know I did! You’ll want a copy of her new book The Bunny Side of Easter for all the kids in your family. Leave a comment below to enter a drawing for a copy!
Connecting the Easter Bunny to the True Meaning of Easter
By Linda Rooks
Easter comes on April 5 this year. So in about a month it will once again be time for Easter baskets, colored eggs, and the celebration of the resurrection.
I imagine several of you are even now checking to make sure you’ve got it down on your calendars. Chances are that like me, you may have trouble keeping up with the date for Easter each year. Last year, Easter came late at the end of April, and the year before, Easter came at the end of March. Ever wonder why the discrepancy? Why the date changes from year to year?
The Significance of the Moon
The date for Easter differs each year because it’s determined by the moon. Easter always comes on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the advent of spring. When I first discovered this, I became fascinated with how this came to be and why the lunar calendar plays such a significant part.
The way that God’s creation meshes with our daily life is always a thing of wonder to me. God uses His creation to speak to us in many ways. He used the star to guide the magi to the manger where Jesus was born. He uses the rainbow as a promise that he would never again destroy us. He uses the seasons as well as seeds that sprout into living things to teach us about life, death, and resurrection. Jesus even said that if the people did not turn out with their Hallelujahs to praise him on Palm Sunday that the rocks would have cried out in praise instead.
So when I discovered that not only did the moon determine the date for Easter, but ancient storytellers in the East had seen a rabbit in the moon, I became even more fascinated. Could all this connect with the Easter bunny somehow?
A Story of Faith, Compassion, and Courage
I never did find an answer to that question, but when I decided to write an Easter book for children, the moon became part of the story, and, of course, the rabbit in the moon had to play a part as well. For what I further discovered is that in the shadowy patches of the full moon, I could actually see the image of a rabbit. His body is on the left side of the moon and his ears are at the top. I even borrowed a little from the ancient storytellers to tell the story. But the moon is only a small part of the story . . .because the thrust of this little adventure focuses on a story of faith, compassion, and courage that turned an ordinary rabbit into a hero and taught an angel about God’s omnipresent love and the power of prayer.
The heroic bunny became the Easter bunny and as a result he got to go to the moon and become the rabbit on the moon.
The story begins on Easter eve when three animals—a mischievous rabbit, a plucky duck and a playful monkey become lost and must face a fearsome tiger. A little angel is kind to them, but her doubts about God’s omnipresence put her in danger when a fearsome tiger emerges on the scene. The question then becomes: can the three animals save themselves and the little angel who was kind to them? Will the angel discover the truth about her power? The bunny comes to the rescue to save her even though it may mean sacrificing his own life to do so. His act of heroism makes him the Easter bunny. The Bunny Side of Easter is a tale of fears faced, friendships gained, and faith discovered.
On Easter morning, when you watch your children scurry about the yard looking for Easter eggs, you may feel a disconnect between the legend of the Easter bunny and the real meaning of Easter. If so, The Bunny Side of Easter can fill the gap, taking children on an exciting and charming adventure with hints of allegory that point children to the true significance of Easter.
And when the next full moon appears, take your children out under the nighttime sky to look for the rabbit in the moon. Together, you can make a fun new discovery that will likely become a monthly ritual and a delight to all.
As author of The Bunny Side of Easter, Linda W. Rooks takes her life-long love of children’s books and uses it to tell a winsome, but exciting adventure that points children to the real meaning of Easter. Her first adult book, Broken Heart on Hold, was published in 2006 and continues to minister to women in broken marriages. Linda’s writing has appeared in a number of national publications, including Chicken Soup for the Beach Lover’s Soul, Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and HomeLife. She has appeared as a guest many times on TV and radio talk shows across the North American continent.
Leave a comment to enter drawing for copy of The Bunny Side of Easter. It would make a great Easter gift!