The tradition of pysanky, egg decorating, is part of Ukrainian folk and traditional culture. Eggs were traditionally given as gifts in many cultures, including what is now the Ukraine. Ukrainians began to decorate these eggs with special symbols for good fortune. In the Ukrainian Orthodox Christian religion, Ukrainians have continued this tradition, and included more religious symbolism on the eggs. Our decorating of eggs around Easter, when Christians celebrate the story of the resurrection of Jesus, comes from this amazing folk tradition!
Below is a story called Rechenkas Eggs that shows us some examples of pysanky.
Now that you've read Rechenkas Eggs, follow this video to make your own pysanky-style egg picture!
The Passover Seder: This video shows how Jewish people celebrate the Passover seder in a variety of ways traditional and modern, fancy and casual!
From Passover to Easter
Christianity, which follows the teachings of Jesus, celebrates the story of his resurrection around Easter, which occurs very close to the Passover. Whether or not they or others believe that Jesus did miraculously resurrect, the story has come to continue the theme of liberation from oppression, through having love for every other human being.
Here is a story about Jesus by a UU author, to learn more:
Meet Jesus: The Life and Lessons of a Beloved Teacher.
Adults & Youth
UUs on Jesus and Miracles
Unitarian Universalists have many varying ideas about themes in the Passover and Easter story regarding Jesus and miracles. For some examples, the following two pamphlets published by the UUA detail some reflections by different UUs on these topics.
Black Liberation Theology Responds to Systems of Oppression
In 2003, President Obama became the center of controversy when the pastor of his own church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, famously said the words "God save America? No. God damn America!" Obama and other Black leaders, including the founder of black liberation theology, Rev. James Cone, found themselves having to respond to these comments to the many Americans who were offended or did not understand how a religious leader could say such a thing.
The video clip below shows this part of Rev. Wright's speech in context, which for some has helped them understand the reason for his words, even if they disagree with them. An NPR article (recorded and written) goes further into exploring traditions of black liberation theology preaching style, and its relationship to Rev. Wright's comments about America.
As you watch and listen to the video and audio clips below, you may ask yourself questions like the following: