Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Easter Highlights 2009
Easter is one of my favorite times of year...chocolate cadbury mini eggs, deviled eggs, the hope of spring and especially the reminder of the Empty Tomb. Some of our Easter family traditions included the "12 days of Easter". This is 12 plastic eggs, each holding a scripture and symbol detailing the Savior's last week prior to the Resurrection. We have this mini devotional right before bedtime and family prayer. Each child takes a turn opening an egg and showing us the object in the egg. Josh and Emma were our designated scripture readers. If you want to see a grown man cry like a baby, you should have joined us the evening we opened Egg #6: the small thorny branch. We had a discussion about the mocking and suffering the Savior submitted Himself to. It was kind of interesting to hear the kids ask questions like, "If Jesus is all powerful, why did he let the 'bad guys' hurt him?"
Here is the Easter Scripture Eggs info:
1. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people waved palm branches. Matt. 21:1-11
item: plastic leaf
2. Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus' feet. John 12:2-8. Item: small perfume sample.
3. Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples. Matt. 26:17-19. Item: Chex cereal or piece of bread.
4. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Matt. 27:3. Item: 3 dimes
5. Jesus carried His own cross. John19:17. Item: popsicle stick cut and glued in a cross.
6. Soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus' head. John 19:2. Item: small thorny branch.
7. Soldiers parted Jesus' garments and cast lots for His coat. John 19:23. Item: dice.
8. Jesus was nailed to a cross and soldiers pierced His side. John 19:18, 37 & John 20:25-29. Item: a nail
9. They gave Jesus vinegar mixed with gall on a sponge to drink. Matt. 27:34. Item: a small sponge.
10. Spices to prepare Jesus for burial. John 19:40. Item: 7 or 8 whole cloves.
11. The stone covering Jesus' tomb ws rolled away. John 20:1. item: a small rock.
12. The cloth around Jesus' head was lying separately from His linen clothes. He was not there. He had risen! John 20:6-7. Item: leave the egg empty, or use a scrap of linen-type fabric.
We also participated in the Easter egg hunt at the church, colored eggs Saturday night and the Easter bunny came and put some treats and small gifts in their baskets. Before bed Saturday night, Josh left carrots out for E.B...??? One of the gifts each child received was a soft wooly lamb. I had bought these at B&B Works back in November for a buck and had intended to put them in stockings at Christmas, but had hidden them so well, I had forgotten about them. I found them doing some spring organizing and put them in the Easter baskets. A short while before church, Josh ran in the house from playing outside and out of breath, he said to me, "Mom, I know why the Easter bunny brought lambs! It's because Jesus is the Lamb of God!" I smiled gratefully that 'out of the mouth of babes', he had taught me a lesson Easter morning. I had not placed the lambs there with the symbolism in mind. (Yes, all 4 children still believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny...) That Saturday night, we also witnessed a sweet tender mercy: there was the most incredible rainbow I have ever seen in my life to the East. It had to have been so close because it was so vibrant and wide. We sat and watched it out of our front porch for a while. It was spectacular! Did anyone else see that???
I had to teach the lesson in Relief Society about the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail. It was a really perfect topic to have on Easter. Despite the adversity in our lives, we have hope because the Tomb is Empty. And because the Tomb is empty, our lives are full.
Sunday for dinner, we ate fish, just as Jesus did after He was resurrected. Then, to close our week-long Easter celebrations, we invited both sets of grandparents to the Temple Visitor's Center and looked at the Christus statue. I love the Spirit there. The sister missionary gave a wonderful testimony and invited the kids to touch the statue and observe the scars in His hands and feet. We had dessert afterwards at home.