It's Easter, a special weekend for Christian believers all over the world. I have this thing where I really want our kids to experience and connect with the wonderful stories of our faith. Because to me they are more than stories.
When I was a child I used to really get into the whole Easter story. For me, strangely, it was never really about the chocolate and bunnies. I would think to myself throughout the weekend, "This time one thousand ninehundred and seventynine years ago Jesus was... talking to Pilate... hanging on the cross...laying in the tomb..."
I found myself thinking the same thing this morning... "Easter Saturday... Jesus was in the Tomb..." It's the in-between day. Nothing really happens on Easter Saturday. Jesus was just dead. The empty in-between.
Then a thought flashed through my mind: But what was he doing while he was dead?? His body was laying in the tomb, but his True Self was elsewhere. My Bible tells me he was plundering darkness, stripping the devil of his power, taking the keys of Death and Hell, leading captivity captive. He was very busy.
Easter Saturday is the day that evil lost its teeth - although it seemed like all hope was lost and all dreams were dashed. While on the surface of things it looked like nothing was happening, in another dimension that Old Serpent was being stripped of his power. Because of what happened on that day, he is no longer the gatekeeper to Death, he has no more power over us (only as much power as we give him by listening to his lies.)
I'm sure that millions of other people have had this realisation before, but for me it felt new. I went to church and sang my heart out for the first time in years.
That's why we celebrate Easter. It's why Easter Sunday is so important: Death was conquered; Jesus burst out of the grave; it could not hold him down.
My faith doesn't mean I leave my brain at the door - no way! But it does mean that I acknowledge there is something (Someone) way bigger than me, something I can't explain, something I've only touched the corner of. But there's a knowing, a deep down glowy knowing... that this is more than a story, it's more than a set of ideals or beliefs. Jesus is real. A real person. Really Really Real. And Alive. Happy Easter!
Our Last Supper: The kids had a friend each for dinner; there were teatowels on heads and sheets put to good use. On the Menu: Spiced roast lamb, pita bread (rice, corn, grapes, hummus) and red wine (er, grape juice). The kids took turns reading the Easter Story from the Childrens Bible. It was fun :)
Shalom! (Peace be with you!)