Monday, April 1, 2013

if you didn't feel easter down deep

i remained silent most of last week...holy week.
it's difficult to really grasp the magnitude of this season.  and just when i begin to wrap my fingers around this heart-wrenching love story i find that there are no words to convey what i am holding onto.

if i'm honest...i didn't give lent the time and focus i should have this year.  i didn't prepare as i would have liked to.  but yesterday i got on my knees and asked God to clearly paint the picture of this ultimate gift anew in my heart...with colors bright.  
and He did.

we sang these words at church...
freedom's calling, chains are falling,
hope is dawning bright and true.
day is breaking, night is quaking.
God is making all things new.

when i think of 'new' i think of something that looks shiny and whole.  i think of something that smells fresh and clean.  i think of something that sits untouched...unstained.

that's what God promises us.

but in order to make us new, things had to get dirty.  
and so i can't look at the beauty of the resurrection without remembering that the hours before looked more dull and broken than shiny and whole.  when i think of the blood and sweat and the sourness of that vinegar-soaked sponge it doesn't leave me feeling fresh and clean.  and let's not forget that jesus' body was anything but untouched...

if ever, like me, you feel that your heart may have become hardened to the truth of holy week do this one thing...
...explain it to your child.
{jesus storybook bible}
you don't have to reserve this conversation for lent.  you can share it any time.  explain who Jesus is and what He did and what was done to Him and what He did in response.  
watch your children's expressions and answer their questions and see if your eyes don't well up with tears.  

i spend time every day of every week of every year talking to my children about my Savior.  we have a relationship with him because we talk to Him and about Him on a regular basis.  God's grace and love are known to my children despite the fractured, inadequate ways that I communicate such mammoth truths.

because His name is precious in our home...His death is devastating in our hearts.

and that's as it should be.

i want to be devastated, ruined, crumpled over in sorrow when faced with the reality of the lengths my sweet Jesus went to in making a new way for me...for my family...for all people.

and so i let my children hear the story and we use the word 'sad'.   i hear my son question 'those mean people' who hurt our King.  i watch my daughter hold a tiny metal cup up to her lips and say it reminds her of 'the blood'.  we feel the dirty, messy, anything-but-new feelings that come with seeing someone you love hurt...
...and then we use the words 'love' and 'hope'.  and i listen to lucy joyfully sing words to a song she is writing as she goes.  i hear the carefully crafted lyrics tell of Jesus, our friend, who died on the cross, and rose from the tomb, and...He is alive!  and we celebrate!
and there is that captivating contrast...  
that darkness that became light.  
that falling that led to the rising. 
that blood-stained body that was transformed into heaven's glow.  
that death that miraculously became life.

how do we wrap our shaky, fragile fingers around that? 

just like lucy wrapped her fingers around that tiny cup...
     with confidence...that's how.

we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 
{romans 6:4}

{if you are looking for ways to explain Jesus' death and resurrection to your kids check out resurrection eggs...they are one of my favorite teaching tools and you may be able to find them on sale right now!}