Yes, you read it right. We no longer say the Easter Bunny at my house. I have always loved really playing these huge elaborate scenes and going through a lot of "hoops" to insure that my kids really enjoyed the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy, etc. Well this year. We all know that there is not a real Easter bunny and that there is really an Easter lamb. A sacrificial lamb that was slain on a cross. A lamb that endured a beating, mocking, and torture for us. When he recieved these bruises and lacerations he did so to insure our freedom and eternity. Freedom from being bound up. Freedom to live as He intended us to live. This lamb took that beating to heal us from all of our sickness and disease. Yes, all. That lamb's name was Jesus. This is how it happened at my house this past week:
We were in Target and the boys were eyeing all the Easter goodies and naming off the movies they would like to get in their baskets this year. It was at that moment that it really, really bothered me to hear them making Easter about this bunny. I just blurted out...yep, right there in Target in front of the new release DVD kiosk that in fact...there is no Easter bunny. Samuel looked shocked and all Kobe could do was say "MOM". He said in a sing song voice...much like you would say it if someone were in trouble. Like I shouldn't have ever even uttered those words. I said it very matter of factly. "There is no such thing as the Easter bunny." I was a little shocked at my self and immediately felt kind of bad because of the look on Samuel's face. He wasn't very happy with me so I continued, "Samuel, would you really want a gigantic bunny with red eyes just hopping all over our house while we sleep?" HUH??? WOULD YOU??? He kept quiet and then finally he said, " I knew it. I knew that thing wasn't real! I knew that nothing really poops jellybeans!" (Thank you, to the movie HOP) I laughed and agreed how silly that was and all was fine.
The whole week we talked about Jesus and what He did for us. All of us. Saturday night I took them to New Birth Ministries to watch Easter in 4D. It was a play that spanned the creation of the world to the resurrection of Christ. I was absolutely amazed at Samuel. He told me things that were going to happen before they happened and gave me details that I didn't even know! Then those details were confirmed by the narrator. I was in awe of what my little four year old knew. I later went back and looked it up in the Bible ...and yep, there it was. Kobe had a lot of questions which I was more than happy to answer. Samuel got a tad bit mad when the play didn't go right along like th movie "Passion of the Christ" and the devil didn't show up in the garden and when Mary wasn't shown crying at Jesus' feet or wiping up the blood from His beatings. I had to explain that it wasn't that movie and that yes, those things did happen but it just wasn't in the play. He said he wished they would do it right. HA! It was a great little family friendly play (hence why, I am sure, the devil wasn't there!) and when it rained...water sprayed out in a fine mist over us and bubbles blew and they had smells filling the air that all corresponded with what was going on up on the stage. During the Last Supper scene they invited the audience to participate and take Communion with Jesus and the disciples. They passed around the wafer and the juice. I explaned to my boys that before we partake in the Lord's supper we must ask Him to please forgive us of our sins and make out hearts right with God. I asked them each if they had anything that they felt that they needed to ask forgiveness for. Samuel said he needed to be forgiven for not minding his parents and Kobe said for not helping his Poppa in the yard the day before. So, I sat there and prayed with them as they asked God to please forgive them. It is probably one of the sweetest moments I have had as a mom.
Sunday morning we woke up and got ready for church. This year I decided not to make a big deal out of the commercial part of Easter. We wore something we already had and I told them about the Easter lamb instead of the bunny. I sat their baskets out and I put little books about God in each one, some card games, their favorite snacks, and some candy and got each of them a movie to share with the family. I told them earlier how getting an Easter basket should also remind them of the gift of eternal life that we have through Jesus. Kobe's class sang at church and for the first time Kobe actually got up on the stage and sang with the group. That morning he wasn't sure he wanted to do it. He said he couldn't sing well and he felt embarrassed. I told him that there is one person who thinks his voice is amazing. He said, well you have to because you are my mom! I told him that it was true that I did love to hear him sing but I wasn't referring to myself. I told him I was talking about Jesus. I said you are singing for Him and no one else. He loves your voice because He created it and everything He makes is perfect. I told Kobe to make sure that he was singing for the Lord and nothing else would even matter. That is what he did. He got up there and I saw his little mouth move and saw him run in place during "I am Free" when it says "I am free to run" and I cried. I was so happy that he had done something that was a little scary to him. I had explained earlier that their is no fear in Jesus. I told him that when God is for us...nothing is against us. John and I taught the 3 and 4 year old class that morning and while we were letting them play until everyone had gotten there (with a little movie on in the background), Samuel told me that he was ready for Praise and Worship. I told him that there was some music on and he could sing along with that until it was time. He said "NO! I want REAL praise and worship ... the kind where you raise your hands, dance, sing loud, and shout." I love when I am in service with Sam and he raises his little hands. It never fails that each time he says, "Momma, I'm praising the Lord!" I think Sam has that part down for sure!
After church we headed over to my mom's house and ate a great grilled lunch. We topped it off when some homemade ice cream and then headed home. We watched some of the movies that the kids had gotten for Easter and just hung out together. It was a great weekend. I can honestly say that this year I enjoyed putting together those Easter baskets more than I ever have... knowing that my children understood the real meaning of Easter.