Friday, March 19, 2010

Old holiday, new outlook...

Easter is approaching!

I love Easter, I always have.

The Easter of my childhood included egg hunts with cousins, chocolate, little presents, sometimes even big presents. It was anticipated with almost as much excitement as Christmas, it was "little Christmas."

It was good.

It was fun.

It was family and tradition and love.

And this year I hope to include all that for my kids, and also to build onto the Easter of my childhood, by adding a huge heaping dose of Christ to the mix.

I'm excited to marry my favorite Childhood traditions with our new and flourishing faith, and celebrate an Easter that is both fun and exciting, and humble and grateful and full of worship.

I'm feeling that same old child like excitement at the thought of how I'll make this Easter special and meaningful for all of us!

As a child growing up, I understood, only very minimally, what Easter was all about. The basic concepts were there, both my Gramma's were Catholic and explained, to a small degree what the holiday was all about, but out family holiday's never focused on their religious origins, though they were always acknowledged. So, I've had to do some research on my own, to fill in the gaps not yet filled by our church going.

Easter is a very big deal! It celebrates the events that Christianity is founded on.

Christ was sacrificed so that we could be saved. He died for our sins on the cross.

He was buried in a tomb and three days later he was risen from the dead. Giving hope and a promise to all those who follow him. Christ conquered the grave and promises that if we believe in Him, we too can have eternal life in Heaven.

The resurrection is what it's all about.

1 Corinthians 15:17 says...
17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.

If we don't acknowledge and celebrate Christs rising from his grave, overcoming death and assuring salvation for all who believe, what do we as Christians really believe in? This is the cornerstone of our faith. The faith I am working on strengthening and building each and every day. I would be remiss to miss a chance to really and truly honor Christ and deepen my faith and my family's faith this Easter.

I'm brainstorming now, on what traditions other Christian families use to celebrate Easter. I'm asking around, reading blogs, looking for books, I'm really interested to see what fun and meaningful Easter traditions are out there!

Have any ideas or traditions you'd like to share? Please do! I'd love to hear what you're doing for Easter this year!

This much I know for sure:

We'll go to Church, hopefully to both Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, but to one at least.

I'll do an Easter supper, as a family, at the same table, and that's a big deal for us!

I have a Devotion book for Passion week (Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday) that I will hopefully be able to read to the kids, but if not, Elvis and I can do it together.

The kids will get either a new children's Bible, or Christian story book for an Easter gift, as well as a stuffed lamb and some candies. I'll hide it all because that was always my favorite part of Easter as a kid, hunting!

I'll make Avery some "Avery-safe" chocolates so she doesn't miss out on that fun tradition (I have a chocolate bunny mold somewhere).

I think that's all I have planned. Mix that with work and school and it's a full week leading up to Easter Sunday, and I really hope that some of the teachings on the origin of the holiday will resonate with the kids. And I hope a more meaningful celebration will resonate with Elvis and I and grow our faith a little more.

And because I like this little piece of scripture, I wanted to share it:

1 Corinthians 15:53-55
53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

It's not really about Easter, but it is about Christs promise to us being fulfilled. When we believe in Jesus, and accept that through him is the only way to Heaven, and that we need him to be our savior, he promises us eternal life in Heaven. He promises that death with have no power over us, because we'll have eternity with Him. When we clothe ourselves in Him, we defeat death.

Where, O death, is your sting?

Now, I've felt deaths sting, and one of the great reprieves that my faith has brought me, is that I don't need to grieve the death that has already touched us, or fear our own impending death. Belief in Christ has made it abundantly clear to me, that death will not have the last word. So we can grieve when needed, but otherwise be filled with hope in Christs promises. I rest assured.

I am continuously impressed and excited over the countless opportunities Faith presents me with to grow and flourish and deepen my relationship with my creator and savior.

I'm excited for a Christian Easter, for the very first time, and I will keep you updated!



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