Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Weekend

This was the first year I really put a lot of thought into how I wanted to treat Easter traditions as a family. Now that Axton is old enough to enjoy some of the little (and big!) things that go into holidays, I have been seriously considering what is important for me to include and what I can just not bother with. I think, in a way, that Easter has become a much more sacred holiday to me now than ever before. I don't want to compare, but here I go anyway: I think it has a much more special place in my life and my heart than Christmas, even, because of the meaning behind it.

So with those thoughts heavy on my mind, I struggled to know if we should continue the "Easter Bunny" tradition that I grew up knowing and loving. This year, we decided that for the week leading up to Easter Sunday, we would focus on the events leading up to Christ's death and resurrection. We started the Sunday before Easter, learning about Palm Sunday, and then went on to learn about Christ cleansing the temple on Monday, teaching his disciples, the Last Supper, His infinite and incomparable atoning sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsamane, his horrificly necessary and lonely death on the cross, and of course his magnificent Resurrection on Sunday morning. We did do something fun and as a family on the Saturday before Easter, which included an Egg Hunt sponsored by another church, as well as dying our own Easter eggs at home, but we didn't do our own Easter baskets and there was no talk of a "Bunny" making any visits. I may alter the way we do things next year, but this really worked well for us this year and made my Easter Sunday especially humbling and full of gratitude for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I am thinking of calling our Easter activities something more along the lines of Spring...like, "Spring Baskets" or a "Spring Egg Hunt" so that these festivities are kept a little bit separate from the Easter portion, but again, I am still figuring it out as I go and I have a bit of time before it really sinks in with Axton, anyway.

So here are some fun photos from our "Spring Family Day"

His first pony ride!

 Mommy can't bend over so well these days, so Daddy got to help him find the eggs.
(Also, to anyone curious, the next 5 photos were taken with my macro lens. It is so dang sharp!)

Another side note the photographer in me just has to make: I asked the guy to take our picture with the sun behind us. He insisted on doing it with the fire truck behind us. I was going to argue once more, but Adam said, "Just let him take the picture, honey." So, I did.

 Sharp shadows and squinty eyes, yes? 
So then after he took the picture I said, "Okay now can you get one with the field behind us?" 

 Sure, it's still a little squinty-eye, but the shadows are so much better! Just something simple to think about!

Then we came home and dyed eggs. 

There was a part of me that wanted so bad to just have ONE nice egg. I tried and tried to keep that one nice egg hidden from Axton and said that it was mine, all mine but of course he snagged it and I didn't have the heart to argue with my two year old so they all ended up getting double and triple dyed with random colors. 

And then the next day was church and both Adam and I taught lessons on Christ's atonement and resurrection. I talked about how the atonement doesn't just cover our sins - it also covers our every heartache and trial and fear and moment of loneliness. I talked about how the resurrection meant that one day my body will be perfect - not in the world's view of perfection, but it will be transformed back into the physical being it was when my Father first created me: I will never again suffer from the physical infirmities of the flesh that I do now, though mine are meager compared to others'. I talked about how the resurrection meant that my sister-in-law would once again hold and raise her perfect baby boy who died at just one week old, and that he, too, would never again feel pain and that the pain their family feels while they miss him now, was only temporary.

I know that in Christ's last days and moments, He walked alone. In the book, Jesus the Christ, written by James E. Talmage, Talmage describes the purest agony ever to have been felt throughout the whole history of mankind: The moment the Father withdrew from Christ's presence as He stood on the cross:
At the ninth hour, or about three in the afternoon, a loud voice, surpassing the most anguished cry of physical suffering issued from the central cross, rending the dreadful darkness. It was the voice of the Christ: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God,[Pg 661] why hast thou forsaken me?" What mind of man can fathom the significance of that awful cry? It seems, that in addition to the fearful suffering incident to crucifixion, the agony of Gethsemane had recurred, intensified beyond human power to endure. In that bitterest hour the dying Christ was alone, alone in most terrible reality. That the supreme sacrifice of the Son might be consummated in all its fulness, the Father seems to have withdrawn the support of His immediate Presence, leaving to the Savior of men the glory of complete victory over the forces of sin and death. The cry from the cross, though heard by all who were near, was understood by few. The first exclamation, Eloi, meaning My God, was misunderstood as a call for Elias.
He walked alone so that we don't have to, and for that I am eternally grateful.

1 comment:

  1. Jake and I have been trying to get our Easters more Christ-centered and less Bunny-centered, but I also struggle with the bunny. I loved the Easter Bunny growing up, so we just decided to do bunny-related things on Saturdays. We also read about Christ's life leading up to Easter Sunday.
    Oh, and I think Axton's dyed eggs look great! :)