PEORIA, Ill. -- Pastor Cal Rychener spent Friday morning writing his sermon for Sunday's Easter service at Northwoods Community Church.
He wonders sometimes how many people could fill up a page with what they know about the holiday.
"People don't know the significance anymore of what the holiday is all about," said Rychener. "I had a young man in my office who hadn't been in church since he was maybe two years-old and he was saying I don't have any idea."
Rychener thinks some of that is a byproduct of first impressions. He says if children are only exposed to Easter egg hunts and other festivities surrounding the holiday they may never grow to view it as anything more than an occasion to play games and eat candy.
"It gets associated with a lot of fun. We had Easter baskets and that sort of thing when I was growing up and I loved that. But I knew that Sunday morning when we were going to church I knew why we were going and I knew what it represented," said Rychener.
And then there's the business of Easter. Department stores often hold special sales during the week leading up to the holiday. Greeting cards and other novelties fly off the shelves.
Rychener says kids need to see more than that.
"I think that child if we can start early giving them the reality then you even find meaning in the fun," Rychener said.