Easter came so fast this year; I felt disappointed that I wasn't more ready to welcome and celebrate the weekend. As Drew gets older, the holidays feel more critical (particularly our holidays that celebrate the faith) because he can really get it if you take the time. This one was no exception.
As we read through the story of the Triumphal Entry, Drew looked solemnly at the picture of Jesus riding the donkey. "I think he looks sad, Mom." Drew commented. I asked why he thought that, and Drew responded, "All those people are cheering but Jesus knows that he is riding in there to die for them."
The next night we read the crucifixion story. Drew got really upset about the details of the story- the whip, the thorns, the nails. After we finished it, he said, "I don't like that story. It's mean. I don't want to read it again." I explained that Jesus went through that because he wanted to save us from our sin.
Tearfully, Drew replied that it made him sad because Jesus would have to die over and over for sin. I told him that the Bible says Jesus died once and for all, which is why the last thing he said was "It is finished!" exclaimed Drew. "I think I can be happy about that story now."
Our final Easter tradition was the famous Resurrection cookies that I always manage to bungle somehow. Last year I added 3 tablespoons of vinegar instead of teaspoons- drastically affecting the taste, as you can imagine. This year we didn't pound the nuts long enough so our "empty" tombs didn't look all that empty in the end.
As we were making them, we added salt and talked about the tears that the women shed as they watched Jesus on the cross. This lead to the following, very spiritual discovery:
Drew: You mean my tears are made of salt water?
Drew (in awe): Wow...sea monkeys could live in my tears.
On Easter morning as we got ready for church, Drew told me that he did not want to hear that Easter story again, and if they tried to tell it to them he would tell them to stop. I encouraged him to try to be helpful, to answer questions and help the teachers explain the story to the other kids. Suddenly he got a startled look on his face, "I wonder if Sabrina knows that Jesus died on the cross? I will tell her."
And so another Easter has come and gone. The challenge is not so much to get past the Easter eggs and bunnies, they are so inconsequential and don't captivate Drew's attention the way the gospel story can. The challenge is to be ready, purposeful, and passionate about passing on the truths of our faith. Oh, that our kids would see in us a heart that truly rejoices in Christ's work on the cross, not just on Easter but every day.