Monday, April 9, 2012
Isaac blue-steeling it...this was the only decent one out of the 20+ I took but Isaac's face cracks me up!!
Our family had a wonderful Easter weekend remembering and then celebrating Christ's death and Resurrection from the grave. Every year, as the boys get older and can take more in, it gets even more exciting to give them more to chew on.
We started out our Holy Week a week ago Saturday at our Sabbath Dinner. Red candles were lit instead of the usual white and our Jesus Branch was hung up. Sunday we started adding different objects to our branch that told the story of the Resurrection and continued every night until Easter. During the week we made our playdough mountain that depicts Jesus on the cross. Joshy helped me make it this year. On Good Friday, Jesus went in the tomb. Every night we read more of the story and I was amazed at how riveted they all were by it.
We started off the Easter weekend with church on Good Friday. We then spent the afternoon with Steve's family eating amazing food and getting cousin playtime.
On Saturday, we prepared for our own family's celebration of Easter at our Sabbath Dinner. This year we decided to add in something we had never tried before. Toward the end of the week we decided to show the boys some scenes from The Passion because they were so interested in what it must've been like for Jesus and it was really the only movie we had on hand. I was a tad worried about how they would take it. However, they really did well with it. They kept saying, "It's okay...we know He's going to rise from the dead."
One of the scenes depicted was Jesus washing his disciples feet at the Last Supper and the boys were pretty intrigued by the whole thing especially after hearing us read it to them as well. So, after seeing their interest we decided that Steve would wash theirs during our dinner as an example of what Christ did for his followers. I think that was my favorite part of the whole night. They loved it. Isaac asked if Steve could do it every Saturday. It was truly an amazing, meaningful night. We also practiced, quite loudly I might add, "Christ is Risen...He is Risen indeed!! This was in preparation for church the next day. After that we of course feasted on good food that was a splurge budget and calorie wise, as we awaited to hear the news that Christ is Risen!!
Sunday morning we enjoyed a yummy waffle breakfast and then headed out to church all laden with refreshments and candy-filled eggs for the Easter Egg hunt after service. The service was chock full of joy and hope. As we moved through the service, standing, sitting, singing, reciting creeds and remembering, I was reminded once again how a liturgy can help prepare my heart to receive God's Word and then Communion (but that's just my experience :) ). During the sermon, there were so many things that came to mind as I was reminded that my sin does nothing for me and needs to be left behind. Why do we try and live as if we are dead? He is alive! He is Risen! We can leave our sin that produces nothing but death in our lives and be free! Amen!
After getting some eggs at the egg hunt after service, we headed over to my parents' for the afternoon to spend time with my family including both of my brothers and my parents. We feasted on amazing food, had another egg hunt and just got to hang out and rest.
In reflection, sometimes I am tempted to slack off and do less during these type holidays so that I don't become overwhelmed. But as Steve told me recently that he often has to tell himself, "I need to die...I need to die for them (meaning the kids and me)." So I also need to die. I wasn't perfect for sure, but I definitely found myself having more joy in the process. Who cares if I have to make five million desserts and drag out all the paraphernalia and plan more elaborate menus, etc...this stuff is IMPORTANT. I can't coast. It's hard work but good work. Christ has called me to it. So I tried really hard to lay myself aside and just die for them, so that they could see clearly all that Jesus did on the cross.
Because if Steve and I, their own parents, don't show them, who will?
All in all, it was a wonderful Easter season for our family.