Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's not about the bunny

I grew up with Easter baskets and an annual indoor Cadbury egg hunt ending in at least one egg left undiscovered only to be found weeks later! At least it was chocolate and not a real egg that would have left an awful smell after a week in hiding!

Those memories are mainly of gradeschool and up. It wasn't the main event of Easter. My parents had laid an important Biblical foundation when we were young. So instead, Easter was always, and still is, about the most amazing selfless act in all of history: Jesus' resurrection, as he promised, from his death on the cross that paid for every single act of sin ever imaginable! It's hard to imagine that! But that is what makes this free gift so special!

I urge you parents to talk with your children daily about Jesus, not just on Easter. Let them know how much he loves them and how he wants to have a relationship with them. They can talk with him, they can have imaginary play with him, they can be kind as he was kind, and show love as he showed love...even for those who hurt him and crucified him. As I type this, I am led to the following passage in the Bible:

Romans 6:9-11
For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:9-11 NIV)

This year, as in years past, our traditions with our kids don't lie Easter bunny pictures or Easter baskets. Those things aren't bad, don't get me wrong...we just aren't doing them in order that we lay this oh-so-important foundation with our kids about what Easter is. So, if you ask Roman what he got in his Easter basket, don't feel bad when he says nothing. For him and Brooklyn we haven't made it all about the candy or the egg's about learning about Jesus. And yes, people, as shocking as it seems...a 2 and 4yr old can understand the meaning (on an age appropriate basis) of how much love it took for Jesus to die for us!

Since we are studying the letter E this week and next...yes, we will have an indoor egg hunt tying scripture to each egg, and yes we have made an egg carton cross craft...but no...I draw the line at having my young impressionable children wake up on Easter morning to Easter baskets that some fairy tale bunny left for if they did anything to deserve presents from said imaginary figure...we are all sinners people!!! I'd rather have them wake up to parents showing them countless acts of love as Jesus did, who by the way was a REAL person and is the sinless son of God. We choose to make Easter memorable by playing games with my children, reading books to them, being patient with them when they whine (a stage we are heavily in), washing their feet as Jesus did, reading the Gospel to them as animatedly as possible so it comes alive for them, eating meals with them, saying kind words to each other, and taking care of each other (we are all fighting colds right now).

Easter is not defined by anything else! The stuff sold in the stores would have been a small "splash" but not a huge "cannon ball" activity if we had the money to go spend on such frivolous items. But God has us penny pinching yet again for a glorious reason that we can truly appreciate. Because instead of digging into our wallets to buy Easter baskets, we are digging into the Word of God, drawing closer to him. Wow! Thank you God for a low bank account balance...we are so fortunate to be forced to focus on you, oh Lord! And thank you Lord for papa who splurged and got them much needed shoes today. :-). And their gratitude wasn't: "thanks for the Easter shoes, Papa Easter Bunny." but rather, a big hug and kiss thank you for Papa.

If you are a believer and are doing the Easter Bunny/basket thing, please know that I am not saying you can't do that(who am I to even say that!!), nor am i judging your heart because...I truly believe a balance can be achieved with all of that because it's about the way you present it and how much you emphasize it. The word of God is so true and powerful that he can use an Easter basket or standing in line waiting for the picture with the Easter bunny as a way to share the Gospel with others. So I say, celebrate in your own unique way that the Holy spirit has called you to do. For us, it looks a little different than most, but we are a little weird anyway! Hehehe!