Easter is coming. As many of you know this means candy and eggs. In my classroom at school, plastic eggs are everywhere. The children are very excited about our party and egg hunt. In my own house the excitement for Easter is building. I knew I was in trouble when I heard. "So, mom.." This is my younger daughter speaking. I answer, "yes?" I am driving to karate or gymnastics or somewhere.
"Have you finished Easter shopping?" (My children are past an age where they think the Easter Bunny brings them goodies.) "Yes," I reply.
"Did you get jelly beans?" RATS! I think. I did not get jelly beans. "No," I reply, "did you want jelly beans?" You must understand, jelly beans to Jack and my children are like me and chocolate. They SAY they want them, but then there they sit, stale and disgusting. I myself do not care much for jelly beans. I am very willing to get rid of them when not ingested. (unlike chocolate) I reassure my daughter that I will get jelly beans.
There is a pause, "So mom."
"Yes" I reply. "Have you decided where you are going to HIDE the Easter baskets?" Ahhh,now we are at the important stuff.
"No." I reply. I usually have my sister for assistance in this issue. She is quite wily and enjoys making it challenging for the girls to find their baskets. As you can see, I know what is important to my children on Easter. Fun and candy.
I myself, have had more difficulty with Easter lately. As I have gotten older, I have struggled more with Easter. Mostly, I have discomfort over Jesus suffering. Perhaps I am to empathetic, perhaps I listen for to much detail, perhaps I am just silly. I can't be sure. I do know this. As my children have gotten older, I struggle with what and how to talk about the cruxifiction. There is nothing pleasant about it. I have trouble accepting that Jesus went willingly through this pain for me and others. What details do I dwell on?, which do I share with my kids? when exactly did I learn them? It is all cloudy to me.
I was relieved or I guess not surprised to listen to our sermon on Palm Sunday. The service struck a chord with me as similar to a Christmas Eve service. We read scripture and then sang hymns. In the sermon, our pastor discussed how some of the verses of certain hymns made him feel pain and suffering. He wanted to spare us that pain so he eliminated those versus when we sang. The words he struck out had to do with the suffering of Jesus. His sacrifice and our sins. I will admit the language did make me uncomfortable. I struggle with the anguish of Jesus and the more conservative feel to these words. I will also say, that at this moment in my life, I want to look at those words. I want to feel some of the suffering.
I know that right now, no matter what the challenges are in my life or the difficulty I may face. It is no match for being ridiculed and hung on a cross. I am here living with family and friends who love me. I am glad Easter will come, and I can put some of this discomfort away until next year. I am also extremely grateful that God created the Cadbury company.