On Sunday we’ll be having our children’s Easter Egg Hunt once again (hooray!) immediately following our 9 AM Easter worship service. Thank you to everyone who donated the plastic eggs and candy/prizes to go inside them. There’s many stories about why folks decorate eggs to celebrate Easter. My favorite involves Mary Magdalene. (Listen, we’ve been studying more about Mary Magdalene for weeks in Bible Study, and she remains on my mind)! Just Google “Mary Magdalene and the Red Egg” and you can read many versions of the story.
Legend has it that after Jesus died and was resurrected Mary Magdalene made her way to Rome. Somehow she had the opportunity to meet with the Roman Emperor himself. Mary told the Emperor about what Pilate and the Roman soldiers had done. She expressed her anger over Jesus’ sham trials and crucifixion. Though she went on to tell him about the miracle of the Resurrection, and that death was not the end of Jesus’ story. Just as Jesus told Mary to go and tell the disciples that he was risen (John 20:17), Mary witnessed to the miracle of the Resurrection to the Emperor.
The Roman Emperor did not believe Mary Magdalene’s story. So she picked up an egg from the dinner table to explain how Jesus rose from the tomb. The Emperor remained unconvinced. He said that it would be just as likely for that egg to turn red in Mary’s hand as for a human being to be alive again after crucifixion. At that moment, the egg miraculously turned red in Mary’s hand! It’s because of this tradition that Christians in the Eastern Orthodox tradition will often exchange red eggs at Easter. In the Western Church (and culture, come to that), we often decorate Easter Eggs or have devoted Christian Education Directors (and CE supporters) who spend hours stuffing plastic eggs to hide for the children to find to celebrate Easter. (Thank you, Nicole!) And now you know one story behind why we do so, thanks to Mary Magdalene.
P.S. Notice what Mary’s holding in the icon?
P.P.S. Hope to see you throughout Holy Week! Remember that our Maundy Thursday Service is TONIGHT at 7 PM (led in part by this year’s Communion Class), our Good Friday Stations of the Cross Service is tomorrow at 12 PM, and our Easter Services are at 6 AM (Lake Hayward) and 9 AM (in our sanctuary). Wishing you all a blessed and meaningful Holy Week.
Thursday Thoughts 4.14.22