What she was really asking, was why I didn't want to have an Easter party at our homeschool co-op. We had a Christmas party and a Valentine's Day party, why not an Easter party?
It was Palm Sunday yesterday, the beginning of what I call Holy Week. I explained to her my thoughts and feelings about this precious time of year. The sacredness of the days leading up to Easter Sunday, in which I like to follow Jesus on his path to the cross. And lay aside other things in order to truly seek him and realize afresh what his death means. It is a Holy-Day, a holiday in the truest sense. A time to set apart.
But shouldn't we celebrate Jesus dying for out sins? She asked
Oh, we will celebrate! I assured her. We will celebrate Jesus being resurrected from the dead on Easter Sunday! That is a day of celebration! But this week, we will follow him to the cross.
Growing up, Easter was a really big deal. At least to my little girl heart. Yes, it was exciting to get new Easter clothes ( a dress made by mom, new shoes, socks with lace trim or tights that weren't an inch thick). My brother and I set out Easter baskets that were filled by the Easter bunny. We would wake up to discover candy hidden around the house or come home from church to an egg hunt. But it wasn't just these things that made Easter a big deal. I don't think I realized it, but as a girl, I loved hearing the message of the resurrection on Easter Sunday. It was the one sermon of the year when I clung to every word of the pastor. He would always bring out the big guns, so to speak, and the message of Jesus dying for my sins, and then coming back to life, always gave me tingles, from my head to my toes, and left me in awe and wonder.
|We make the traditional hot cross buns on Good Friday... but no currents in ours. Often, it's chocolate chips!|
There was a time when I rejected all the Church-y things in my life, beginning in high school. But even then, I loved Easter Sunday. It would tug on my heart to come back to the cross. And finally, it was an Easter Sunday, in1999, that I did come back to the cross, lay my burden of sin down, and began walking a new path, the one that followed hard (yet imperfectly) after Jesus.
This time of year has deep meaning for me. When Lent comes around, I long to mark it with significance. Not necessarily by giving something up, but by focusing those forty days on Christ in one way or another. There is no mention of Lent in my church or from most of my friends. A few people I know participate, but typically by giving up chocolate or coffee or the funny papers. We don't wave palm branches on Palm Sunday. We don't have Maundy-Thursday services to remember the Last Supper. We don't go to a Good Friday event. Even Easter often seems like just another Sunday. I often feel that in our rejection of Church tradition, we have lost some things that are rich and valuable.
|Passover lap books from 2014.|
We will eat ham. I will hide plastic eggs filled with candy. My children will have something new to wear.
|Lil Miss Petite in her new Easter clothes 2013.|
We make memories, we mark days, we day-by-day build a heritage that can't be fully seen as yet.
We set apart. And then we celebrate.