First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone:(203) 744-6177

What Do Easter Symbols Mean?

Jesus Identified with mother hens.

Rev. Dr. Pat KRISS(Posted February 23, 2024)

“A new study has uncovered, for the first time, that mother hens are such attentive, caring parents that they ‘feel’ their chicks’ pain.  In experiments, female chickens showed clear signs of anxiety when their young were in distress.  [They] found that adult female birds possess at least one of the essential underpinning attributes of empathy – the ability to be affected by, and share, the emotional state of another.”  – Progressive Christianity

I was in CVS the other morning. The place was bursting with everything imaginable for Easter. It was as if all of the months of February and most of March didn’t even exist, and we had zoomed straight past all of it to Easter on March 31. Stuffed bunnies cascaded onto the floor. Marshmallow peeps clogged the shelves on the store’s main walkway back to the pharmacy.

Suddenly I understood exactly why people felt better navigating that aisle, because in this world gone dark with fear and anger, we folks really do need the colors of spring to help us believe that there will be another springtime in our lives.

The Symbols of Easter

Still, I wondered if any of the people rushing to pick up their prescriptions actually knew the significance of the Easter symbols they were rushing past. Specifically, those peeps and the occasional hens among the decorations.

This Sunday there is the rare occurrence in the Gospel where Jesus, looking over Jerusalem and the fragile lives of so many under Roman occupation, identifies, not as the virile Son of Man or the mighty Son of God, but as a mother hen. In the face of threats to her chicks, she gathers them under her wings, where she protects them with her body. This maternal emblem fits Jesus so well, as one who puts his own human essence on the line from the foxes of the world.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be spending a little time with the symbols that lend their shape to Easter, thinking about their origins in the Celtic/Pagan traditions of spring, but especially how there is hidden meaning in each symbol that connects us to that glorious Easter Morning. Come join us and meet the Mother Hen this Sunday morning.


First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177

Office Hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday Closed

Thrift Shop Hours:
Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday   10:00 a.m.–11 a.m.


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