This time of year is, by far, the most significant for Christians. The death and resurrection of Christ is why we are able to freely have a relationship with Him. It’s why we hold the promise of Heaven. It is a holy time. And I struggle with it every year.
For awhile I felt like it was enough to just not participate in “The Easter Bunny” in our house. You know, because Jesus already shares Christmas with Santa. And while I can reconcile that giving and receiving gifts can be done in remembrance of the greatest gift we’ve ever been given at Christmas time, I have a hard time with fitting a bunny into the sacrifice of God’s only son and His miraculous resurrection.
Every year we take communion as a family around the dinner table on Good Friday. And then for the rest of the weekend we shop for Easter outfits, go to church, and have a big dinner and an Easter egg hunt. Mind you, we talk plenty about the meaning of Easter…and up until this point that has been enough. Because it’s all in good fun and I know I participated in all the secular traditions of Easter and still grasped what it meant growing up.
But it’s beginning to grieve me a little. We are so selfish by nature. We want to do what is fun, what feels good, and we certainly never want to feel left out. And yet when we make the decision to follow Christ we are commanded to die to self. To take up our own crosses and follow Him. There is a constant tension between those two things. How can I help my children understand that? Is it enough to combine this time of year with secular traditions so long as the kids understand? Because if I’m being honest, I have a hard time meditating on what He has done for us when I am busy putting together Easter baskets and trying to find the right outfit for Sunday morning. Should we be complacent and just let the kids have some extra fun this time of year or are we missing out on the opportunity to give Jesus the honor He deserves. Should we be spending Easter weekend in quiet, simple meditation of who He is and what He has done without all the distractions? Should he at least get one holiday, the most significant event we celebrate as Christians, without all the extras? Should we stop buying new Easter outfits and instead give away the money we would have spent in remembrance of the great sacrifice given on our behalf? Is it awful that part of me cringes at the thought of not having an Easter dress? What does that say about my heart?
These are questions I am constantly asking myself. And I don’t have the answers. This year, when we have our Easter egg hunt at home, we will have the kids hunt on each other’s’ behalf. Layla will hunt for Bryson’s eggs. Jordyn will hunt for Layla’s eggs. Bryson will hunt for Jordyn’s eggs. And hopefully, instead of selfishly thinking of getting more and more for themselves on a holiday that is totally and completely about sacrifice, they will think of each other. Maybe Bryson will see a purple egg and remember that’s Jordyn’s favorite color and stick it in the basket. Maybe Layla will see a football print egg and remember that Bryson loves sports. And, for a while, they can think about one another because we were so well thought of by our Father in Heaven when He gave His Son. But is that enough? I don’t know. I suspect I will be wrestling with and praying about these things for many years to come.
What about you, fellow Christ-followers? Do you struggle with these things? Have you found a middle ground that you feel secure in or do you constantly battle as well? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Until the next blog…be blessed!