I realized my lacking the other day after visiting the mall. You know, the place of greed and covetousness. My kids had caught a view of the Easter bunny and were enamored. As soon as they saw their Mimi that evening, one of their first topics of conversation was the big, fluffy rabbit who gave out prizes. "That was the Easter Bunny," my mom explained, "But do you know the real meaning of Easter?" My mind began to race, "Have I explained that yet?" I thought, "Oh no, I haven't. How awful! Who am I Ms. Seminarian?" So after my daughter confidently asserted that Easter was about Spring, I jumped in trying to redeem myself, "Easter is in the Springtime, you are right, but that is not the real reason we celebrate Easter."
Easter should be something we prepare our kids to understand. They will see the baskets full of candy and toys in almost every store. They will be asked by the checkout lady at Harris Teeter, "What do you want the Easter bunny to bring you?" To which my kids get a glazed look of confusion as I have also never talked about this to them.
This week I am determined to teach my kids why we celebrate Easter (also reminding myself in this world of yummy chocolate eggs). Our Lord is risen. He has conquered sin and death. He has brought hope to the hopeless and life to the lifeless. In teaching my kids this lesson I am going to use the activity of coloring eggs. As we dye both the eggs and our fingers I will probably say something like this:
- Easter is coming up. Do you know what Easter really means? It is the day we celebrate that Jesus came back to life. He died on the cross for our sins one day and then three days later He came back to life, meaning that He is stronger and more powerful than anything. (Show me your muscles.)
- So we are going to color these eggs. And just like these eggs are putting on color, God wants us to put on Jesus. He wants us to put down things that don't honor Him like hitting, pushing, lying, arguing, whining (I could go on...) and put on the things that do honor Him like using our words and hands to love each other. He says that we are made into a new creation when we believe in Him, just like these eggs are becoming a new color.
OK, so maybe that is a stretch but I am going to give it a shot. We should be celebrating. Our entire faith as Christians rests on this one truth: He is risen. He is risen, indeed. Rejoice.