I was recently delighted when one of my favorite bloggers, Heather Kiffe, asked if she could cross post one of my blog posts to her blog (The Cookie Exchange)! I have previously highlighted her writing on my Facebook page for those who want to dig into their Bibles, but need suggestions as to where to begin. Read just one of her posts and I guarantee you’ll feel as though you’re making a new friend to invite to your couch and have a great heart-to-heart with! If you’re not much of a reader, you are in luck because she includes an audio recording with every single blog post!
Today I’d like to highlight one of her posts on my blog! I love to push forward ideas on how to create meaningful experiences for families to stay connected. This one is so timely with Easter this weekend – and out-of-the-box creative, which I love!
What are your favorite Easter traditions? Do you have a cherished Easter memory? One of my favorite memories took place not as a child, but somewhat early in my marriage. It was Resurrection Sunday and I was awoken by the annoying sound of the paper shredder. “Seriously?!” I thought to myself. Kevin is an early riser and I… am not. Moments later he came in the room with a twinkle in his eye. He handed me a basket full of colorful crimped shredded paper strips. I didn’t need any further encouragement to get up. You see, I’m a nut for a good Easter egg hunt. I had so much fun hopping around, looking for the candy Kevin had hidden in all kinds of obscure places throughout the house.
It’s a shame there aren’t egg hunts for adults. Competing with children is rather frowned upon. Actually, what a fun idea. I think maybe I’ll host an egg hunt party for grown-ups.
A fun aspect of traditions is that you can start new ones. About five years ago I started praying for a fun tradition to practice with our children to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ. Kevin and I desired to create a family tradition that would point directly to Christ. We wanted something where the meaning could not be mistaken. I have to say, our family has had quite a bit of fun with our new tradition. I have been waiting for months to share it with you!
Our kids have Good Friday off of school. At 9:00 in the morning we light a taper candle (Mark 15:25). The candle represents Christ upon the cross. At 3:00 p.m. we blow out the candle, representing Christ’s death (Mark 15:34-37). The candle is left on its holder until dusk. Then the boys take the candle and wrap it in a strip of linen. The wrapped candle is then put in a clay tomb that we made (Mark 15:46). The tomb is then covered and sealed by tying it shut with string.
Next, our family goes around the entire house and tapes down all the light switches in the “off” position. We do not turn on any house lights Friday night through Saturday. Everyone has a flashlight and in the evening we light some candles. The boys have great fun with this. They look forward to it every year. It’s almost like camping, but in your own home. I think they have the most fun if they catch Mom or Dad accidentally turning on a light. You wouldn’t believe that turning on a light switch is habit, but it is! Taping down the switches definitely helps.
There are several aspects of this new tradition that I appreciate. One aspect is that we get to experience the time frame. Too many times we gloss over the words in the Bible. What took hours to accomplish, we read in a matter of seconds. This gives us a greater appreciation of how long Jesus hung on the cross and how long the disciples waited in darkness and despair. Not only that, but the darkness is real and tangible. The light that we took for granted is gone. We experience how much we miss the light and take note of our limitations without it.
On the morning of Resurrection Sunday, the candle is no longer in the tomb! Kevin, our resident early riser, retrieves the candle from the clay tomb and hides it somewhere in the house. The one who finds it first gets a prize. The Jesus candle then shows up in random places for the next 40 days. As I’m writing this I’m realizing that we haven’t done anything to symbolize the ascension at the end of the 40 days. Perhaps we’ll tie the candle to a helium balloon or strap it to a rocket – the boys would really like that!
This week consider what you do and why you do it. Don’t be afraid to start something new or modify the old. Too many times we get stuck doing something just because “we’ve always done it that way.” Many traditions have meanings that are overlooked because it becomes routine, mundane. This passion week evaluate the details of your services and traditions. You may find a hidden treasure.
The scripture references this week reflect some occurrences of passion week. Pray that God would give you a fresh perspective, a hidden treasure. Pray that this would not be a week of annual repetition, but one of fresh meaning. I invite you to experience passion week through the eyes of Matthew or Mark.
Thanks for reading! This is just one of my ways of putting a smile back in the world!
- Posted by hellobabs
- On April 17, 2019
- 0 Comment