I've read several posts/articles this week about the differences between Christmas and Easter - and on both instances it leads back to commercializing the holidays. Christmas is a happy time - it's about the birth of Jesus. While the sparkly trees, gifts, large man in a red suit and all that comes along with that doesn't quite fit into that image - I know that there are lots of people out there still teaching their children that Jesus is the Reason for the Season...
Easter has a different set of challenges - it's about the death and resurrection of Jesus - which while it is a GREAT story to tell... it's not as easy to commercialize. There are some portions of that story that are very gruesome and difficult to grasp... but how we made the leap to the giant bunny delivering toys and candy... I'll never know.
My little sister is terrified of the Easter Bunny - or at least she was... he had to leave her basket on the porch because she wasn't having any part of a large rabbit in her house! HA! It's funny - I never would have thought of that... I was just happy to get stuff as a kid - I didn't much care who was bringing it...
I don't know what the difference is for me this year - and believe me - the Easter Bunny will have a place in the lives of our children... much in the same way that Santa will... but I'd like to believe that we'll carry forth the real messages of the season as well. This year though - especially for Easter - I've been noticing a lot more of the true message being displayed.
Maybe it's a heightened awareness on my own part of the story of Jesus' death and resurrection - now that I've read at least one account of it in the Bible... I've read Matthew and that was pretty tough to take. I've seen the movie Passion of the Christ and remember it being brutal - and hard to watch at times, but I never expected for it to be as painful to read... I'm almost to the point of reading Mark's account of the story as well... and am going to try to read through it this weekend - if I were up to date with my Crosswalk program - I would be finishing Mark on Saturday. (Isn't that AMAZING timing?)
All of that to get me to the real part of the post that I wanted to tell you about... most of you know that I carpool with my wonderful husband everyday - and along with that is the comfort of being able to drive in the HOV lane which means MUCH less traffic. Our portion of the city is heavily traveled and it would take a lot longer to get home without such luxuries.
So on Tuesday evening - we were on our way home, and I noticed that a bunch of people were slowing down at one particular portion of the freeway... there wasn't a big traffic blockage or anything - just people slowing down as if to dodge something or look at something.
I looked to the right, and right there on the side of a major artery in Houston, Texas was a church... not an uncommon sight. It wasn't the church that was grabbing everyone's attention... but it was the activity going on right there.
They had a giant "mob" of people dressed as they would have been back in Jesus' time standing and watching the three crosses... much in the pictures that we all are familiar with... and on those crosses were live humans... enacting the scene from that very time in history.
It was an awesome sight to see - and it obviously did just as they were hoping for - it caught everyone's attention that day as they were driving to their homes or soccer practices... and I hope that everyone else took a moment to realize how miraculous it is that we are able to celebrate the sacrifices that Jesus made for us to wash away our sins...
Sometimes that story gets lost in the shear imagination - it is hard for us to sometimes imagine even what a small fraction of that would be like... because it is so different from our hustle and bustle world of today - but when someone can make me sit back for a minute in awe of those days in Jesus' life... all I can do is sit here and say Thank You Jesus... for paying the price for my sins - so that I can find eternal life through you.