Good Friday & Easter 2014-First time tackling it full force as a little family.

Easter. Not about the bunny, but about Jesus. This morning, Caleb woke up excited about the mythical Easter bunny. I had no idea he had any impression that the bunny would come to our house in the middle of the night under the mask of darkness to deliver our own personal egg hunt and Easter basket. I had no idea the bunny was a figure people actually believed in. I had no idea it was a thing. So as I got out of bed this morning in a half awake stupor, I was met with an expectant child wondering, asking, waiting to see if the bunny came. No such rabbit came. Because you know, the rabbit would be ME, and I had no idea about any of these shenanigans. I am not a fan of the bunny anyway. I think all this extra stuff, while being fun for kids, really takes away from this time of celebration. This time of remembrance and celebration is deeply rooted in profound significance for those who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus. That in itself, is powerful and precious and not to be diminished by any rabbit, or any of the mass commercialization that we see. I go to the store at any given time during this season to see the rows of cheaply made plastic toys, pink plastic crossed with flower imprints, chocolates and bunnies and eggs and more. Sometimes I feel like it is reminiscent of all the market stalls set up at the temple that Jesus overturned. 

So this morning, Caleb asks me about the Easter bunny. I had no knowledge that this expectation laid root in his little heart, and that he thought the bunny would have come to our house for a whole deal. When I told him that the bunny wasn't real, he sniffled and his eyes watered up. I thought to myself, "Crap, this is actually a thing." So while he ate his breakfast, I laid out a trail of eggs that led to his basket for him to find. The eggs were filled with jelly beans to correspond to his Jelly Bean prayer in his basket. I never again outright said the bunny wasn't real. He is sure of this, anyway. He asked my sister if the bunny visited her house last night (I am sorry, but that is such a creepy image. Easter bunnies largely freak me out. Blame it on Frank from Donnie Darko). He also talked to an employee at Trader Joes and told her the bunny came to our house, then he modeled his bunny glasses for her. So for this year at least, the bunny lives.

This morning my mom joined us for an Easter church service, which was nice. I always go to church alone, which I am fine with, but it was actually nice to be with someone who was there with me (besides my child), for once.

Some Easter crafts & activities we did this year:

Easter Wreath

This year we made Paper mache eggs that became a garland for decoration, we made shaving cream painted eggs, we did Resurrection Rolls, and made a very handy Easter Wreath. The Easter Wreath is the first thing we did, and served as an outline of Holy Week events anytime we talked about it. Caleb also did an Easter Egg hunt with his dad on Saturday, and had a jelly bean prayer in his basket.

Good Friday

This last Friday we also attended the Good Friday service for the first time. We went to the 12pm service at Mariner's Church in Irvine. Caleb loved his time playing on their playground with new friends and being in the class. The service was an hour long, and of course, beautiful. Jeff, the pastor speaking, was telling us to think about the different sounds of the cross and what it represents. For Peter, it was self doubt and denial at the sound of the rooster crow. For the crowds condemning Jesus when they had first welcomed him a week prior to the sounds of Judas' betrayal, every act and sound communicates something different that a lot of people can relate to. Jeff wanted us to find ourselves in that scene and see where we might be at. Do we reject Jesus? Do we doubt his faithfulness? Do we lose hope because we don't think he comes through for us? Do we betray him for temporary comforts? I had no idea what I was. We had cards to write on to describe where we might be at this time. I wrote words like unworthy, ineligible, disconnected, and more. We were invited to nail these cards to the varying crosses set up around the room. These cards described things ranging from confessions, to the sounds that echo in our hearts and minds of where we are at in our lives at this time. My card was filled to the brim with words that have been pushing me around. As I nailed that card to the cross, I had this visual expression of what Jesus did for us by dying as he did. He took these words and called us Redeemed. I felt this as I hammered my card to the cross in nailing these false identities to the cross. 

I walked back to my seat after that. Even though there was music playing by the band, above all else, I heard those nails being banged into the cross. A chorus of nails sounded more like worship to me than anything else. I just felt these confessions, these lies, these false identities, being nailed to the cross where we find life and truth. It's a beautiful thing. The cross demands our freedom. The cross ensures it. 

He is Risen. There is much to celebrate in that.