Growing up, Easter was a holiday I looked forward to. Easter morning my sister and I would race downstairs and start our egg hunt. We could bet on finding eggs in all the same places as last year; for some reason the kitchen appliances were involved year after year. After we collected all our eggs we would sit down together and open each one up to see how many were lovingly filled with candy and how many had quarters. Almost immediately after we scouted out each of the eggs we were running around the house again playing the "hot or cold" game while searching for our hidden Easter baskets. As soon as we found our baskets we were digging into the candy while putting on our new Easter dresses and white shoes, all ready for Easter service.
I love to think back on our traditions and memories as kids. I also love looking to the future and thinking about doing some of the same things with my own children.
As fun as Easter morning was, there was something even more special to me that we did as a family on Good Friday. I can't help but think about it today. Every Good Friday we would be still between noon and three o'clock to remember what Jesus did for us on the cross. We would be together as a family, but we didn't have the t.v. on, we weren't grocery shopping, my sister and I weren't mindlessly playing with barbies. We were still, together. We were honoring. We would read passages from the Bible, each taking turns reading aloud. My mom would get out a school craft I made. It was a dixie cup, filled with sand. Stuck in the sand was a cross made out of two sticks, held together by twine. On Good Friday I would place a small piece of black cloth over the dixie cup. Then I would stick the cross through a hole in the middle of the cloth and into the sand. It was symbolic of the darkness that covered the earth as Jesus hung on the cross. We let my cross craft sit like that on our t.v. console from noon on Friday until we woke up Easter morning. I would remove the black cloth and exchange it for a white one to symbolize that He rose!
Now that I am adult, I think of that school craft each and every Good Friday. I think about the darkness and pain He endured for you and I. What a sacrifice, what a price He paid. Then I think about that white cloth on Easter morning. I immediately think of the verse from Psalm 30:5, "Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.". Joy always comes. Joy came that morning when the tomb was empty. He rose again!
Today I challenge you to be still. Be still with your spouse, be still with your kids, be still. Teach them about Good Friday, not just Easter Sunday. Clearly it can leave an impact decades later.