By Charlotte Holt
Easter comes and goes each year. Women, young and old alike, slip into new dresses, bonnets, and tight fitting shoes. Suits, sports coats, dress slacks, new pastel shirts, and shiny, sleek dress shoes for the men of the family briefly brighten their closets and then adorn their bodies. Families parade to church looking like a million bucks. Almost everyone I know wants something new for Easter. Even those with limited resources break forth with something freshly acquired.
Baskets, bunnies and decorations signifying this spring celebration line the store shelves and are placed in homes far and wide. Almost every place in the world have those who celebrate this holiday in some form or fashion. Easter egg hunts are scheduled at churches, schools, and community centers. Youngsters hope to find the ‘Lucky’ egg, or the most. Prizes are awarded to those who do.
The smell of vinegar permeates homes as multiple colors are mixed for children to dye eggs of various colors. Plastic eggs are filled with candy. Chocolate Easter bunnies lose their ears to eager children wanting to taste their splendor. Mouths water and brown seems to be the color found on chairs, pillows, and even the floor.
Bunnies have a difficult time laying all the eggs, so chickens are enlisted to help in the feat. Baby chicks are cute, so they are painted different colors. Candy models are even fashioned for children to eat. Youngsters carry their baskets, filled with delicious marshmallow chicks, chocolate bunnies, jellybeans, and candy eggs, along with other toys, of course.
Mother slaves in the kitchen to prepare a meal fit for a king. Then it’s time to sit down at the table to enjoy a feast of ham, smooth creamy mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, creamed peas, candied carrots, or just about anything you can think of to eat. Each person fills his plate – some to the brim. Sideboards might come in handy. The children squirm and take a bite or two. They want to know if they can leave, for they are through. Seems the candy satisfied their appetite. They inquire about when they can hunt eggs again before the grown ups finish.
Dessert sets on the cabinet waiting to be cut and served. Stuffed tummies need to wait until later in the day. When mentioned, participants groan and rub their full pouch. Some talk of going for a walk, but a nap wins out. Children want to play and adults want to sleep. No time for prayer and talking about the reason for the day.
Leftovers stored in the refrigerator, a few eaten later, but most thrown away. Everyone resumes a diet the next day. The boiled eggs stay to make tuna for the week or lessen the calories we eat. The candy gets eaten by the kids, or thrown away. “Maybe just a little bite,” we hear some say.
The children carry their baskets around for a few days. They hide eggs for a while as they play. Then, they set them aside for another year. Mother gathers up the mess and puts away Easter for another time.
“Where did Easter go?” A woman sighs. “What’s it all about?”
Then, she remembers a story from long ago. About the love a man had for her soul. He loved her so much he even died. Thinking of how her family failed to celebrate His death and resurrection – she sat down and cried.
Often, we forget the real reason for the Easter celebration. We don’t take time to remember what Christ did. We become so encumbered with other things we ignore the most important thing of all.
After Easter day ends, the new duds gather dust in the closet. Too often we put Christ and His resurrection back on the proverbial shelf and don’t take Him down until the next holiday, or maybe even the next Easter.
Let’s not be guilty of either of these this year. Let’s celebrate the resurrection and continue in the power of it everyday of our lives.
Things mentioned in the story are wholesome ways to celebrate Easter. They add fun and bring happy memories. However, some ways to keep Christ and His resurrection as the central focus could be achieved by some of the following suggestions:
- Pray before the delicious meal and thank Him
- Parents tell your children the real reason for Easter
- Read from your Bible a gospel account of Christ death and resurrection during the season
- Display Christian symbols of the resurrection (a cross, a lamb)
- Set up a yard display of the empty cross with the words – He is risen!
- Invest in Resurrection Eggs and explore their meaning (You can get these at Christian bookstores or online)
- Sing resurrection songs together
- Read books with the Easter story regarding the resurrection
- Call it Resurrection Day in exchange for Easter
- Have the children write poems or their own stories about the resurrection
- Send Easter cards with the resurrection message
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