Filipino Folklore, No More

I remember sitting on my mom’s bed when I was a little girl and asking her about Easter. What was the point? What were the egg hunts and church services about?

Background: At this point in time we were “Catholics.” Quotation marks because I was never a member of the Catholic church, but my mom was. And when we did go to church it was to a Catholic one. To Little Girl Marie this was enough to make me Catholic. 

My mom explained that Jesus was crucified on the cross and 3 days later He rose again. Easter is about celebrating His resurrection.

I specifically remember thinking, “This lady misunderstood my question. I want to know about Easter, the American holiday we are participating in, and she just told me a Filipino folklore. Oh well, guess I’ll never know what the Easter thing is about.”

Seriously. I thought my mom was lying. That she had no clue what she was talking about because this answer, Jesus dying and coming back to life, was insane. That’s not a real story. That couldn’t happen. That’s not how science works. More than that, there is no way that that’s what the Americans were really celebrating.

Years later, like a full decade, I found out my mom was right. The Americans were celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus, no Filipino folklore here.

I think this memory helps me celebrate Easter. It helps me see just how insane Christians sound and look to the world. How this holiday, when you strip away the Easter dresses and chocolate bunnies, is the biggest leap of faith a believer can ever make in her entire life.

I believe that God sent His son to die and serve as a sacrifice for my sins. I believe He was crucified on the cross, and that 3 days later He rose again. I believe that the Power that it took to raise Jesus from the grave now lives in me in the form of the Holy Spirit.

These are not rational beliefs. Christians are not rational. It is radical to believe that the Bible is correct about this moment in history. Our God is asking us to have faith in something even a child can see makes absolutely no sense. In return, He is promising that a faith that looks foolish to many is what sets me free from the bondage of guilt and shame and fear and anxiety.

I am so thankful to believe in the Filipino folklore Easter.

But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

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