Happy Easter

Once more to new creation Awake,

and death gainsay,
For death is swallowed up of life,
And Christ is risen today!

~George Newell Lovejoy

This is the believer’s hol-y-day. Christmas is all flash and fun, but Easter is what our beliefs are centered on…the cornerstone of our faith. We aren’t southern, so no pillbox hats or white gloves needed here but this is a highlight of our year! So how do we celebrate?
First, we worship. Up early and out the door (with only one cup of coffee!) to join a fellowship of crazy people who believe in a dead man coming back to life. Singing, laughing, praising this God who makes all things new. Rejoicing over this ancient truth, that never gets old: The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.”

What comes next in celebration?
(I mean, after Starbucks, of course! I only had one starter cup of joe, and my half of the lunch isn’t going to make itself. Is it wrong to be glad that a corporation is pagan and open on Easter?)

After God, the most fulfilling relationships we have are with people. Especially the family-type people! So we headed over to Grandma and Grampa’s house for the afternoon. It’s been four years since we have shared the holiday with family, so that was a wonderful difference this year. Tara and Tony drove from Portland, and seeing the changes in baby Savannah from just Christmas were amazing. She recognizes her grandparents and it was great to see how Claudia could get her giggling pretty hard!

okay. So far on our we have the heavenly Father…. we have Family….what else…? hmmmm

oh yeah!

Josiah said we “were getting piggy with the ham”. We had a tossed salad and fresh strawberries there, to put in a healthy appearance, but the big stars were green bean casserole (Claudia loves me) ham gravy, and buttery rolls. I made my first carrot cake and it turned out pretty good…but then I could put my cream cheese frosting on a brick and John would moan, “oh honey, this is delicious.” Would you like the recipe? 19 years. Know it by heart. and it’s so decadent that just typing it out, I will gain 3 lbs… A cube of soft butter, a block of soft cream cheese, 2 t. vanilla and 4 cups of powdered sugar. Beat until it’s fluffy and spread on whatever you have handy. Graham crackers are John’s favorite, but seriously. you could use a brick. cardboard. whatever you have laying around.

This was the first year I didn’t do Easter baskets for the kids, or resurrection cookies or the usual traditions. They had a chocolate cross, and Grandma bought Peeps (they are gluten free!) but this year John and I realized our boys were past the milk stage, and ready for some meat.
On Good Friday we gathered the kids together and we all watched The Passion dvd, and it was hard. I had only seen it once but it had such an effect that I had a stomachache all Friday, just knowing what we were about to see. During the flogging scene, my tough 11.5 year old Sam climbed up in my lap. He put his lanky arms around my neck and cried quietly, with me. That was when I felt we had made the right choice. The movie is pretty gruesome, and we really debated on letting the boys see it, but they’ve seen Lord of the Rings (and Orcs and that Smeagol are far more disgusting!) This bloody visual at least has a purpose. To get us past the tidy clean view we have of the Cross, and remind us of what our salvation actually cost Him.

After we watched it we gathered around the coffee table and talked about what we’d seen. We reminded the boys that this faith isn’t something they get automatically from Mom and Dad. The same way we can’t eat their food in order to make them strong, the choice to “take in Jesus” and grow, was theirs. John served each of us communion and the saltine cracker and Welch’s grape juice were transformed into a reminder that we can partake of His sacrifice and grow. Or we can neglect His provision and wither away, weaker by the day. But each of us chooses, for himself. And God, in His goodness, never takes away that free will. He asks…Do you want life? It’s yours, free for the taking. And if you don’t choose the Way, the Truth and the Life? Then, by default, you are choosing death. And God, in the end, will give you just what you chose.

I looked at our sons, gathered quietly, the candlelight reflecting off their somber faces. I could see they understood, that their young hearts were mulling over these truths. It hit me that the growth of a life is not only obvious in bigger shoes, and fresh marks on the living room wall. There is a kind of growing up that even this clinging Mama doesn’t grieve over. I see this dark world, full of men who are still weak, still children..passive, shifting, undisciplined. We want more for our sons. We want them to be men. Strong of heart, sound of mind, unflinching in faith. But that type of growth is quieter, less obvious-it seems to come in fits and starts, untrackable with a measuring tape. Though Friday, I looked around the room and saw it there, simmering…
True maturity comes in the silent stretching of the carnal heart.
When our selfish mind tries to wrap itself around the unfathomable selflessness of such a gift as that gruesome, bloody cross.

About sparrowjourney

Christian homeschooling mom to three boys, married to my best friend, John, for over 20 years. I love gardening without gloves, learning history with my kids, cooking with lots of butter, serving others, great books, rich coffee, studying the Bible, camping outdoors, scrapbooking, vintage home decor, the smell of rain and cut grass, authentic people, poetry, laughing until your sides hurt, and babies. oh and black licorice is pretty awesome.
This entry was posted in deep thoughts, lovin' from the oven, traditions. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Happy Easter

  1. Rebeca says:

    Sounds like a wonderful celebration…

  2. Brian says:

    Great post Brenda, well written and heartfelt as always. Happy Easter.

  3. Neil Johnston says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing…

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