I’ve been thinking about Peeps lately. They’re the Easter treat traditionally created in the shape of baby chicks. They’re made out of soft marshmallow and rolled in colored sugar. Their eyes are made from edible wax. Traditionally sold in packs of five conjoined yellow chicks, they’re made in other shapes and colors as well. Yet, the yellow chicks remain the most popular. Maybe because they represent new birth. That’s what Easter’s all about.
Their other ingredients are corn syrup, gelatin and a pinch of salt. Described like that, they don’t sound very tempting. But there are people who can barely wait for Easter to roll around every year just so they can satisfy their Peeps craving.
If you check with mentalfloss.com, more than 1.5 billion Peeps are reportedly consumed each spring. That number doesn’t even include chocolate bunnies or jelly beans.
For many people, when they think of Easter they think of Peeps.
Growing up I remember getting up early while it was still dark outside. Our house was unusually quiet. Probably because we were all still partially asleep. Even the birds didn’t sing. They were still snuggled in their nests dreaming of sunny days and fat worms.
I remember a pretty, stiff dress with a sash that tied around the back into a bow. I had new white socks with ruffles at the top. Shiny black shoes showed off those socks well, but they were a little bit pinchy.
Like other boys their age, my brothers were scrubbed clean. Some of the boys attending Easter sunrise services at our church discovered that they didn’t have freckles after all.
Everything was dark on those early Easter mornings. It was as if the whole of creation was enveloped in a quiet hush. Waiting. Anticipating something special that was about to happen. Almost as if everyone and everything was holding its collective breath.
There was also a quiet reverence as families got out of their cars and walked silently into the church, finding their familiar pews. Others came as visitors for the first time. Maybe on a whim, seeking something they felt they lacked but couldn’t understand what was missing.
Others were in town visiting family members. Still others made their annual Easter trek to church. The one time out of two they came through the big church doors. The other time being Christmas, of course. It didn’t matter. On that hushed Easter morning before the sunrise, we were all present in one accord.
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2).
On those precious Easter mornings so long ago, we were of one accord, of one mind. We had the same love for the Lord. We came together quietly and a little sleepy, but also in unity and in joy. These were our “Peeps.” Our friends and neighbors. Our fellow churchgoers. Whether we saw them twice a year at Easter and Christmas or every Sunday, they were part of our church family.
After all these years, I can still see where some families always sat in church. I can still visualize some of the farmers and their families who sat in front of us. Their farmer tans gave their profession away.
When the organist began playing, the quiet was gone. Voices joining together, we all burst forth in triumphant song. The traditional Easter hymns declaring that our Savior, Jesus Christ, rose from the dead still live in my heart today. This was a day for rejoicing. This was a day of triumph. It still is.
To me, Easter is so much more than Easter egg hunts, marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. It’s more than an annual tradition where families get together and share a big meal. For me, it’s life changing. It’s the day that women went to Jesus’ tomb and discovered that He was no longer there because He rose from the dead.
“But the angel answered them and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay’” (Matthew 28:5-6).
It was true back then. It’s still true today. Jesus Christ died on the cross for each one of us. He took the punishment for our sins so that we can freely become a member of His family. We have the right to be called children of God.
“But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right (the authority, the privilege) to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name” (John 1:12 AMP).
If we call out to Him. If we make that choice. If we surrender our life to Jesus Christ, it’s a life changing decision. We eternally become a part of His family, the family of God. You might even say that we become one of His Peeps.
Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.