Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Goodness

Easter Greetings, peeps!

Ah, Peeps - not my favorite Easter candy, but they sure are fun. "Peeps!" exclaimed Miss O as we spotted the brightly-colored confections in the Easter aisle while searching for chocolate eggs, jellybeans, and an egg-dyeing kit in anticipation of the upcoming holiday. We passed on the Peeps (the kids like the idea of Peeps, but they usually do not finish eating them before they get stale) "But they are sooooo cute," Miss O said. I didn't give in.

Peeps, jellybeans, chocolate eggs, and a large white rabbit hopping about delivering baskets of goodies to children around the world, is that what Easter is all about? No, not really. It's the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, and that's better than good, better than great. It's awesome!

The story of Easter, Christ's resurrection doesn't end there, Jesus says, "And I will be with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:16-20 [GNT]

Brian and I agree, that's pretty darn good. Jesus is with us everyday, just not on Sundays or holidays. He's the reason for the season. Although that expression is often heard at Christmas time, I believe it applies to Easter as well. It's a time to rejoice, to celebrate, and to share in holiday traditions with family and friends.

With that in mind, today we share with you . . .
Ta da! Three good things about Easter:


2. Coloring eggs: Eggs are a symbol of rebirth, therefore, decorating them at Easter celebrates the risen Lord. When I was a kid, there was just one way to color eggs - the classic Paas coloring kit. These days, there are many, many options to choose from - tie dye, marble, sparkle glitter, stencil, spinning, and more. It's fun to help the kids color the eggs. We don't create dozens, but we do make enough to keep this tradition alive, and to make an egg salad sandwich or two later in the week.

3. Dressing up: In my view, we've become a bit too casual in this country in terms of dressing up for special occasions and holidays. It's a nice change to set aside the jeans and t-shirts for the day, and gussy it up a bit with something fancy. Miss O and her and little bro A have some new outfits for Easter. I enjoy seeing the little children at church in their festive clothes - the girls with pretty spring dresses and cute straw bonnets, and the boys with their shirttails hanging out of their pants and clip-on ties. So adorable.

1. Eating homemade sweet bread: A holiday post would not be complete without talking about food, but I'm not really a fan of most traditional Easter foods unless we're talking about chocolate bunnies! I do enjoy my mom's homemade raisin bread called Hoska. It s a sweet loaf of yummy goodness, usually light and airy in the inside and crusty on the outside. It's especially tasty topped with real butter.


I completely agree with Sue on the first two of hers. I'm not privy to her mom's Hoska, and I'm a little jealous. It did help me, however, find a good starting point and that's bread.

2) Bread I love bread of all kinds, but at Passover-Easter there are so many good ones to choose from. The unleavened bread is a favorite for it's meaning. Challah after Easter is another traditional bread I try to enjoy. And then, if you have a Great Harvest Bread near you, get yourself a Honey Bunny.

3) Sunrise I get very sentimental at the two highest of holy days in the calendar. Christmas has the late-night Christmas Eve candle-light service, and Easter has the Sunrise service. There's nothing quite like those late nights and early mornings at any other time of the year. In the winter, it's so dark, and the air is bitterly cold, and the stars seem far away. On Easter morning though, the smell of flowers, coffee, and for me, I'm fortunate enough to live near the woods where sunrise is sneaky and the earth smells like it is exploding with new life. Some people like the beach or other places to watch a sunrise, but I like the first rays of the sun filtered through the trees. It can be as other-worldly as God himself.

1) Love I know, I know - that's the one in February, but this day is much more about love than any other day of the year. If you follow a tradition of Lent, you're preparing 40 days for this day. If you don't, the week leading up to Easter, or Holy Week, can be plenty of lead-up. Christ's entrance into Jerusalem last Sunday kicks it off. He cleanses the temple by kicking out the super-religious ones who were trying to turn a profit on the sacrifices people made to be there, and on the sacrifices they came to make there. He gathers his closest friends around him and teaches them to incorporate their love for God into their whole lives including eating and drinking. Jesus prays, sweats, weeps and then out of the greatest love ever known, shows us how deep his love is by willingly submitting to the most painful and shameful death ever conceived. He proved that love by his once and for all-time sacrifice to cover everything we've ever done wrong or ever will do wrong and restored the relationship between us and God that was lost in Eden. Then Jesus demonstrated that he is God by coming back from the dead, and is still alive right now. He could have left us the way we were, but that's not what love does. He loves us too much to let us continue with the curse on our heads from the beginning of time.

And again, the story of Easter, Christ's resurrection doesn't end there, Jesus says, "And I will be with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:16-20 [GNT]

PS - This year, I'm wearing a pink dress shirt, tucked in, no clip-on tie.

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