My Favorite Easter Bunnies · 23 April 2011

It might seem sacrilegious for a Christian to admit this, but two of my favorite mental images of Easter are of the Easter Bunny. Actually, two Easter Bunnies.

The first image that comes to my mind when Easter rolls around is of my friend Judy. She was the head honcho of the church youth group leaders long ago. On Easter weekend, the youth group (and leaders) would stay over at the church and learn about Easter and each other. We had a great time and stayed up too late as all youth groups do. Then we got up in the morning way too early so we could make Easter breakfast for the rest of the congregation, who came for the annual fund-raising meal.

Judy was the one who woke everybody up. She was dressed in her Easter Bunny suit (at the very least she wore her rabbit ears) and she had on her roller skates. My image of her is actually a moving picture of her rolling around the church with her big grin and those silly bunny ears. Naturally, most of the kids just rolled over in their sleeping bags when she came around, but eventually, they too had to smile at Judy and get up.

We always had a great time making the food and even cleaning up before going to Easter service. After the dishes were washed and everything was put away, everybody would get dressed up and head into the sanctuary for the Easter message. I hate to admit it, but I only ever really remember being awake for the traditional call, “He is risen!” and response, “He is risen, indeed!” Other than that, I only remember all the youth and most of us leaders being in the front few rows. We were either trying to avoid the whiplash of our heads bobbing forward and back as we tried to stay awake, or we were just giving in and leaning against each other sleeping the sermon away.

Even though she is gone, my fondest memories of Judy are from leading the youth group and seeing her with those bunny ears and roller skates on Easter.

My other mental image of Easter is of my brother, Scott, in a one-piece full-body pink and white Easter Bunny suit. It was just like the one Ralphie got in the movie A Christmas Story. The image I have in my mind is actually a picture of Scott smiling as he is looking down at one of the younger church kids. Scott was in high school at the time and I am sure one of the adults asked him if he would dress up for the kids. He was always obliging to the folks at church, so I am sure he did it without any duress. And, as always, he did it with style and panache.

I love that picture and would love to have a copy of it. Unfortunately, I cannot use it for blackmail or anything like that. For Scott, being Scott, looks good in anything. Especially, when he was younger. If he had the Easter Bunny suit now, he could still pull off being suave and debonair even if the costume was too small. I can hear him saying in his best James Bond voice, “The name’s Bunny. Easter Bunny.” It is probably what he was saying when the picture was taken.

As much as I wish I could say I remember somebody’s great and powerful sermon given on an Easter Sunday, I must admit that I cannot. I do love Easter and the promise of new life it brings. And I love the traditional call and response, “He is risen! He is risen, indeed!” And sacrilegious or not, I must admit that my fondest memories of Easter are of Judy and Scott, my two favorite Easter Bunnies.

© 2011 Michael T. Miyoshi

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