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Monday, April 5, 2010

"Doing" Easter

So, I have a question:  How are you supposed to "do" Easter?

This question has been rolling around in my head for the past couple of weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.  As I was out and about in the grocery store and Wal-Mart or Target or just running errands the past couple of weeks I would over hear people talking about needing to do their Easter shopping, parents obsessing over how much to spend on each child's Easter presents; which begs the question, do we now have to buy Easter presents like we buy Christmas presents?

Now before you move on thinking I'm just a party pooper and want to spoil all the "fun", my children got an Easter basket this year.
We filled one big basket up with some goodies for all three.  They got the "Squeaquel" movie to share and each kiddo got some of their favorite candy.  JennaBeth got a new sippy cup and some Gerber yogurt melts.  Bentley and Cecily each got a chocolate bunny.  They also all three got peeps.
Cecily got the blue ones.
Bentley got the yellow.
JennaBeth got the pink ones.
The kids also hunted Easter eggs.

Back to "doing" Easter.  I also heard people talk about how they were going to "do" Easter with so and so on Saturday morning and "do" Easter with so and so on Saturday night and then "do " Easter again on Sunday with a different group.  Now, I completely understand the actions behind the semantics.  These folks were going to celebrate parts of the Easter weekend with family and friends and so forth.  I get that.

But I'm still wondering how you do Easter.

My husband and I were very intentional in NOT speaking of the Easter bunny this year.  We explained to Bentley that we were celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus this past weekend and that the new clothes and candy were part of our celebration.  We told him the reason he got something special to wear to church was because it was such a special day.
He was so happy to have a tie like daddy wears every Sunday.
The girls both had new things to wear also.  JennaBeth wore a cute little hand me down from her cousin Jordan and Cecily found her dress at Justice.
As we were talking to Bentley about how this Sunday was so special because of our observance of Christ's resurrection, I began to think about something.  Shouldn't every Lord's Day be a celebration of the resurrection?  And shouldn't every Sunday be held in high esteem and be top priority in our planning for the week?

I read the first book in Davis Bunn's and Janette Oke's Acts of Faith series the week before Easter Sunday.  The title is The Centurion's Wife.  The book covers the days right after the tomb of Jesus was found empty and the beginning of the early church.  The book is historical fiction of course, but Mr. Bunn and Ms Oke do a wonderful job of following scripture and base the "filler" stuff with their historical research of the times covered.

Here is a portion that struck me:
"When everyone was finished eating, Alban watched the elder stand to light a candle made from three braided strands.  Eli prayed over the flickering flame, his hands up to either side of his head, speaking in the ancient Hebrew tongue.  His final amen was echoed by everyone at the table, even the youngest.  His wife handed Eli a ceramic vial, from which he took a pinch of spices, sprinkling them over the candle.  Instantly the patio was filled with the fragrance of incense.  At his place at the head of the table, Eli seated himself again and said, 'We light the candle and ask the Lord Jehovah to illuminate the week ahead.  We sprinkle spices into the flame and remind ourselves that the Sabbath should remain a sweet scent in our lives, flavoring the days to come.'"
Our choir is working on our Spring musical and one of the songs we will be dong is "The Stand".  As we were practicing this song Sunday evening and I really meditated on the words, I thought, "This should be our response to what Christ accomplished on the cross and through His resurrection.  This is how we should do Easter EVERY day of our lives!"

Our family prays that you and yours will find the hope of Christ's resurrection just as joyful this coming Lord's Day as it was on Easter,


jodi said...

Great post Jen! Something new in our house this year was the Easter bunny. I just had never done it before. My mom has always given the kids baskets full of stuff, but I hadn't. So as I talked to the kids about having breakfast with the EB on Saturday at a local park, I was surprised at how much Savannah already knew about him.

That reinforced something I already knew to be true. Kids pick up on everything! And how much more I needed to reinforce the real reason for Easter.

The book you read sounds awesome! I love the quote! Oh and Bentley looks handsome in his tie! Emery got to wear one for the first time this year too. Such cuties!!!

Mariel said...

amen, great thoughts! How true that we ought to DAILY celebrate the reality of the resurrection!! But I love Easter!! I love the time of year, the new clothes and the celebrations that prove the world cannot crush the Resurrection! We do not "do it" the world's way...we celebrate Jesus!!! We have had Celebrate JEsus Parties for our friends and we go out of our way to exalt our risen Savior!! Yes, we aim to do it every day...but like the yearly Festivals the Lord ordained for the israelites to remember what He has done, we use Easter to remember and reflect on our Living Savior!!

Great pics, too!!! Can't believe how big your "baby" is now!! :)

Lori Harper said...

Love your blog! I just wanted to thank you personally for praying for my precious Jedidiah! I feel like God has placed so many wonderful blog readers in my life to help carry this burden. Thank you again for going to the throne for my little boy. God bless you!
Lori Harper

Anonymous said...

It is so spiritually refreshing to hear someone go public with the real meaning of Easter, to celebrate the reserrection of our
Christ. Thank you for your comments Jennifer. The easter bunny and egg hunts are ok but it is our responceability to teach
children the real meaning of Easter.