EASTER…As a believer in Christ this time of year is a BIG DEAL! It’s the reason we have hope, it’s the basis for our entire faith belief. But as per usual it’s been commercialized, just the same as Christmas. In many ways I struggle with the idea of condemning the secular celebration as it seems that people are grasping for hope and this is the best way they know how to find it. Are they looking in the wrong place? ABSOLUTELY, but their motives stem from a sense of desire to bring sense to their life, bolster the value of family, live in community AND the need to just have fun.
In my daily life I try to find that balance with my kids! Instill in them the respect for the sacredness of Easter…the understanding that we have so much more to celebrate than easter egg hunts and chocolate…even more than fellowship with our friends and family. I know I don’t always do a great job at it and this year it’s my desire to do it differently. To help them understand just how important it is, even more so than Christmas. This year I have coordinated an Easter program at Church…not something we usually do but wanted to try. Things have come together so incredibly well that I can only give credit where it’s due. God! I have felt nothing but affirmation in my desire to see Him be glorified this season. This week has been the epitome of seeing God’s hand bring things together.
First, although we have yet to seen the completed product, our program has come together with amazing ease. The kids are memorizing like crazy, the music has been learned and when we’ve been practising the kids have been belting out the words like pros. Costumes arrived on my doorstep this morning and THEY ARE PHENOMENAL! The little animals will look so sweet and I was reminded in the creation of these beauties that working with people in their gifting is incredibly rewarding both for them and for me.
Second, we are participating in a passover meal on Sunday! I am so excited for James and I and our children to experience this amazing Jewish tradition that was a Holy part of Jesus’ last days on earth. I love that we can embrace aspects of Jesus life in a new way even as mature believers.
Third, Good Friday…our church has a great tradition of breakfast in the morning and then an Artwalk. This year the theme is “From the Cradle to the Grave”…members of the congregation enter pieces of art and they are placed in a way that people can walk through and reflect on the life of Christ and the meaning of Easter. We have been eager to keep the children involved in this as well and this year I was really struggling with something that would be meaningful to them and nice to display. I thought at first that they could do a mural and work together, all ages putting a beautiful piece of work together. However, two weeks ago a faithful children’s worker came to me with 100 FREE wooden eggs. They were perfect in shape and size and an idea started to percolate. What if we had the children paint these eggs with something meaningful to them about the life of Christ. It would be an excellent way for them to experience turning something secular into something sacred. Then I began to wonder how we could make the entire process of creating these eggs something sacred and this, my friends, is why I love my Heavenly Father so much….!! I prayed that He would inspire me with an idea of something that could bring the two together in a meaningful way for the children.
At first it started with putting together a small Easter Egg hunt for the kids. Giving them a bit of fun and joy in the season…then I began to think on how we could incorporate scripture and I realized, “what if we put a small goody bag together for each child with a scripture and the wooden egg”. It would give them an idea for painting, help them put together Easter with their faith and a little bit of chocolate never hurt anyone. But I still felt there needed to be more. Just doing an Easter egg hunt still felt a little “unspiritual”. I realize that not every child will catch the amazing inspiration that I have felt and perhaps God means it only for me but I feel that He gave these ideas to me in order to pass them on to the children under my care.
Anyway, so as I pondered it more I realized that in so many ways the secular tradition of Easter Egg Hunting can be transformed to take on a much deeper meaning. First, the act of “looking” or “searching” is so biblical. In many ways, as humans we “search” in the wrong places. As a child, I remember playing the game hot and cold. We’d search for an object and another would tell us whether we were “hot” or “cold”. An Easter Egg Hunt can be like that…if you look in the wrong places you will never find the Egg/chocolate. Much like faith…before one comes to Christ we can search in so many wrong places and even as a believer we can lose site of our goal and start moving into the “cold” area (further away from our Creator). Second, when we do finally find the “treasure” of chocolate, it’s a gift. Someone who loved us bought it, hid it and once we find it we can literally just partake of the “gift”. Salvation is exactly the same…sometimes it takes us a bit to discover it but when we finally do it’s simply a matter of accepting it and partaking in the joy it brings.