I'm headed out to the store in a few minutes to find something for my kids' Easter baskets, and maybe even some special Easter clothes for them to wear tomorrow. Yes, I'm a procrastinator, but I'm going to completely set that topic aside until a later date and focus on what really bothers me.
Every year, more than any other holiday, I struggle with what to do about Easter. For months beforehand, we see bunnies and chicks, plastic eggs, jellybeans and brightly colored cellophane-wrapped baskets filled with Barbies and Hotwheels and every sort of pastel candy imaginable. The secular presentation of Easter is fabulous to behold. But no matter how hard I look, something is always missing from those shelves.
Where is Jesus?
I should think it would go without saying that the VIP of Easter would deserve a front-row seat to the celebration of His own holiday. That He should outrank a teenager in a bunny suit, or at the very least earn a spot on the shelf next to the Cadbury eggs. But Jesus seems to have been evicted from His own celebration, and that leaves me with a dilemma.
How do we celebrate as a family and still impress upon our children the truth of Easter? The gravity of their sins? The reality that if Easter had never happened, they would all be damned to Hell for all eternity? How do we get them to understand the enormous price that Jesus paid? The grace they have received? The vast love of God? How do we do this without embittering them by depriving them of the fun and tradition of Easter?
We spent the morning decorating foam Easter eggs with crosses and good wishes, which we will hand-deliver to nursing home residents tomorrow. We'll hunt for our 'resurrection' eggs tomorrow morning along with our candy, and my three-year-old has been repeating his memory verse all week ('Jesus died and was raised to life again.' 1 Thessalonians 4:14).
But is it enough?
Well, I must be off. I don't even know what I'm looking for. A chocolate Jesus? A stuffed lamb? Jewelry with a cross on it, maybe...I've done that before. Anything to remind them of what Jesus has done for each of them. And for each of us.
I wish you all a blessed and Christ-filled Easter.