Monday, April 23, 2007
I know this post is late, but I kept enjoying the thought of it and wanted to share it. First some background info.
I remember getting an Easter basket only once as a child and I absolutely loved it, but I don't remember what I thought about Jesus that year or if it distracted, b/c all I remember is the big basket. Also, my grandmother always made these beautiful and elaborate table centerpieces for Easter dinner and I remember loving those, but again, they had nothing to do with what Easter is really about. That bugged me when I started to get older. I'm ok with Easter egg hunts, as long as they have a Christ-focused message or symbol inside like "resurrection eggs". I guess maybe I take Easter and Good Friday more seriously than Christmas, but yes, I'm one of those people who doesn't like the sight of a bunny or chick in my house or anywhere else for that matter when Easter comes around. It may be severe for now, and I'm open to changing as the years go by and the kids grow up, but I'll try to maintain this as long as I can.
Anyway, this past Easter Sunday was pretty low key for us. I had been wanting to organize some "Christ-focused" Easter traditions to do with the kids like the resurrection eggs, or an advent-type calender/chart for everything from Palm Sunday through Easter etc. Unfortunately, I didn't get any of this together and by the time Easter Sunday rolled around, the weather was a bit chilly so we didn't go outside for an egg hunt, and the boys were so tired when we got home from church that we didn't do one inside either. And, I obviously didn't want to do Easter baskets (somehow when candy and gifts get involved, things just get hazy.) We did have a formal Easter dinner with some friends, but aside from a lamb-shaped cake
(which was really cool), we didn't really do anything traditional. So, I decided Charley should at least hear the story and I should talk about it with him. He has two picture Bibles from his Nonny (my mom) that he loves to read. So I got them out and read the Easter story from both of them and talked about what happened as much as a 2 1/2 year old will understand and he ended up really enjoying it! He's asked me to read him the stories several times in the days afterwards and now everytime he sees the tomb he points and says, "That's Easter!" I, of course, couldn't be more thrilled. After my lack of planning, he ends up getting the main point of Easter after all through a simple story, and he actually remembers it now which is even better. Another bonus is that next year when Easter rolls around, he won't expect gifts and candy etc. and instead we can hopefully, again focus on how wonderful it is that Christ died and rose again for our sins! I know he doesn't understand all of that, but we can build on the story as he's ready for it. At least for now, the story and message is simple in his head, as it should be and hopefully, that will help him keep things straight for Easter's to come and so that he'll be able to share that simple message with other kids as he grows up.
I know that sometimes Easter baskets and egg hunts help to get kids excited about an event that they can't possibly understand at a young age and then later they transfer that excitement to the actual meaning of the day, but I think I prefer the way things "accidentally" happened for us this year. I'm amazed that through God's grace, a small child can know about (even if he doesn't really understand) the Easter story. In fact, a couple of weeks after Easter, Charley woke up one morning and said, "God protects us from the tomb!" We had been listening to G.T. and the Halo Express CD's with Bible Memory verses on them and each one has a theme. One of the themes for one CD is "God's Protection" so we'd been talking about how God protects us. I guess he just combined that with the Easter story somehow, because I know he doesn't understand salvation yet. But he still got it right which was really cool to hear coming out of his mouth! I exhuberantly said, "Yes Charley, God does protect us from the tomb!"
What a simple and wonderful message! Thank you Lord for your sacrifice and for rising again as you conquered death once and for all to protect us from the tomb for eternity.