Friday, April 22, 2011

Still Trying To Get It...

I said it in my previous post, and this post is just me still trying to get it. Trying to get--to grasp--the magnitude of The Lamb That Was Slain.

 4Surely he has borne our griefs
   and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
   smitten by God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions;
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
   and with his stripes we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray;
   we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.
 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
   yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
   and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
   so he opened not his mouth.
No judgment here whatsoever for anyone who is dying eggs, etc.; I grew up with it, and it's all great fun. But for me this year, I'm having trouble with all the hype about "Easter dresses" and egg hunting, chocolate and the bunny. I want perspective. I want focus.  What's this really all about, and why are we watering it down?
image via
I teach a Lego class on Thursday afternoons at a private, Christian school.  Yesterday the kiddos all came in talking about Easter and the gobs of candy they had just gotten at their class parties.  I always start class with a few minutes of chit-chat to give them an opportunity to spew so that they will actually zip it when I'm ready to give instructions. :) So when we'd all circled up to start class, I asked them to tell me what Easter is about.  I heard getting candy, egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and everything else you can imagine.  But out of 6 little 5-8 year old little boys (who attend a Christian school), not one said a word about Jesus.  It broke my heart.  Of course when I said that it is really about Jesus, they were all, "Oh yeahhh..." 

But shouldn't our answer first be Jesus, and then the Easter Bunny. Or maybe not the Easter Bunny at all? Isn't He enough?

I don't know. And we don't even have kids yet. I'm sure this dilemma will be even more of an issue then. 
Still I'm wondering, should we be trying to "balance" the fun of traditional Easter trappings with focusing on the incomprehensible sacrifice of our Lord? It seems the scales should be more one sided. Couldn't we create some new family traditions--ones more centered on Christ?
If you're looking for perspective, too, these posts challenged and encourage me...

From Faith Parley, Austin New Church blog:
"So between ages 0-32, I celebrated Easter the fun way: with bunnies, baskets, and expensive clothes. I mean, what better way to say “Jesus reigns” than dressing my preschooler in a $45 dress to show her off in the church lobby? (You’re welcome, Jesus. Be blessed.)  
Jesus is a redeemer, a restorer in every way. His day on the cross might have looked like a colossal failure, but it was his finest moment. He ushered in a kingdom where the least will be the greatest and the last will be first, where the poor will be comforted and the meek will inherit the earth. Jesus brought together the homeless with the privileged and said, “You’re all poor, and you’re all beautiful.” The cross leveled the playing field, and no earthly distinction is valid anymore. There is a new “us” – a ruined people rescued by the Passover Lamb who adopted us into his family and transformed us into saints. It is the most epic miracle in history.
This is why we celebrate. May we never become so enamored by the substitutions of this world that we forget."

Read the full post here.


From A Holy Experience, Ann Voskamp:

How You let your side be ripped open that our lives need never be split into sacred and secular.

How you were slashed that that our lives could be seamless — all holy.
That the veil in the temple rents in two because of You, and there is no longer a divide between the common and the hallowed and the whole earth is full of your glory and You are the continuous, unending, divine thread that weaves through all of the world, holding all together… even when you, Son, are rent apart.

And hanging naked and blood smeared and dirt defiled, You nodded slow and You said yes — You gave us your one-piece robe of seamless holiness and You clothed us, the filthy ones, in all your white righteousness.
Read the full post here.

{I don't want to water it down. I don't want to just pass over the Passover on my way to "Easter."  I want to really get it.} 

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