With snow still on the ground where I live and the promise of more today, it’s hard to believe that Easter is in a few weeks. I look forward to holidays and the accompanying traditions. My hubby has off on Good Friday so we usually go out to breakfast as a family. We do some Easter egg hunts and candy and sometimes we make Resurrection Cookies the night before Easter. With no family in the area, we frequently invite friends over for Easter dinner. All good things that help make Easter special.
But how do you keep it fresh, spiritually? With all the repetition of the traditions, how do you make it significant and not just another holiday? I feel for pastors who need to come up with new sermons each year for the same types of holiday topics. How many different ways can you look at the same story? I want Easter to be a meaningful time to remember the incredible things that Jesus did for us. But how do you not just get used to it? I want to be amazed anew at the crucifixion and resurrection, but I feel trapped by the repetition of traditions.
One way that I think I’ve found to keep the same stories fresh is to look at them through my children’s eyes. As they grow and increase their capacity to understand spiritual things, it’s been really neat to see them understand these holidays in a new way each year. When I see it through their eyes, it helps me to find new wonder and deeper understanding.
On a lighter note, we had some unexpected revelations this past Christmas. I talked with the kids (ages 8 and 10) about the virgin birth and how significant it was that Mary was pregnant without being married. People would have assumed she had been immoral. The kids were confused. We’ve taught them that having babies was what married people were supposed to do. We’d communicated that was God’s plan to wait to have babies until marriage, but I didn’t realize my ten year old thought that was the only possible way for babies to be produced. He didn’t understand how Mary got pregnant if she and Joseph weren’t married. It’s NOT where I had planned on going during our devotional! What ensued was an awkward discussion about how yes, girls can get pregnant without being married, although that’s not God’s plan. No, kissing doesn’t make girls pregnant. Yes, there’s something else that goes on to produce babies, but we don’t want to get into it right now. No, Joseph was not Jesus’ father – God was. It got a bit messy but did clear up some of the theology issues. I think.
I don’t foresee the same types of revelations during our upcoming Easter discussions! Hopefully and prayerfully, as we talk about the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection, both my kids and I will grow into a deeper understanding and appreciation for His sacrifice. That’s the wonder of God’s Word – it speaks to us even when we’ve heard the same story countless times.
What do you do to keep the holidays spiritually fresh and significant?