What Easter Means To Me

images-7Growing up Easter was a special Sunday.  I can remember wanting to wear the prettiest dress to church – that was a BIG deal, and attending a PACKED church service to hear our pastor share a message about how Jesus Christ died on the cross to save me.  We would color easter eggs as a family until a certain age, I can’t remember when that stopped, and wake up early to see what the Easter Bunny brought me.  I can remember the Easter Bunny coming to my house LONG after I stopped believing.  A cute little basket lined with fake grass, bright colored plastic eggs filled with candy and jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, Cadbury eggs, and of course marshmallow peeps.  YUMMY, I STILL love those!!

Of course Easter was all about family too.  We would plan a special get together,  my mom would cook a Ham and/or Turkey with all the special side dishes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes (some times she made the ones from the box, I could ALWAYS tell the difference).  Often times our extended family would come over and a lot MORE food would show up!!  We would hang out all day, eat food, eat the junk food from the Easter Bunny, play card games and have FUN!  I had GREAT memories of Easter.

I grew up going to church every Sunday, most Sunday nights, and for the majority of my life Wednesday nights too.  I felt that I knew who God was, I considered myself a Christian and as a little girl, I accepted Jesus into my heart.  I remember most of the Bible stories that I was taught growing up and reading my Bible and praying was a roller coaster ride for me.  Sometimes I was REALLY into it and other times I was not.  It was something that I was told was good to do, but I didn’t always make it priority.  A song that sticks out in my mind is this…….read your Bible pray everyday and you will grow grow grow.  CUTE!!!

That was my upbringing a VERY scaled down version of it – an overview.  As I’m reflecting TODAY on what Easter means to me now – a 36 year old, wife and mother of 2 boys, I’ve realized for the first time (yeah, believe it or NOT it took me this LONG) that it is MORE than just a special Sunday, going to a packed church service, wearing a pretty dress, coloring eggs, candy filled baskets, and family.  Easter to me is ONE thing, the CELEBRATION of an AMAZING man – a celebration of the life that Jesus LIVED – a celebration of a LIVING God!!

I’m done with going through the MOTIONs, it is not an option for me any more.  I’ve learned MORE about Jesus Christ in the months of February and March 2010 than I’ve learned in my 36 years.  What prompted me to REALLY get to know who Jesus was, is my son.  We had a talk about how Jesus lives on our hearts.  Zachary is 9, he likes FACTS and he couldn’t understand HOW a person could live inside our little hearts.  I racked my brain on how to EXPLAIN this to him, because I simply just believed.  After MUCH prayer, reading the Bible, books, devotionals, and talking with friends I feel like I’ve finally come to understand and accept WHO Jesus is and what it means to have him in MY heart – thus a NEW appreciation for Easter, I am so grateful!

Here’s an elementary explanation of what I’ve come to realize.  We are all children of God and He ultimately wants a relationship with us.  He sent His son Jesus Christ to live amongst us to set an example for us on how to live our lives.  He spoke TRUTH, demonstrated perfect character, and taught us spiritual principles.  He showed us how to connect and have a relationship with our Father-God.  Jesus was crucified and triumphed over death.  To invite Jesus Christ into my heart means to accept Jesus’ way of life.  Understand and accept the teachings of Jesus and make EVERY effort to practice His spiritual principles in EVERY department of my daily life.

YES, Easter is just ONE special Sunday out of the year.  But, I have the desire to live what this day stands for daily.  I know I will “mess-up” as we ALL do, but I will remember His example.

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Comments

  1. Sylvia says:

    You know, Teri, when Todd & I left church this morning, I was in tears…I ALWAYS shed tears when I go to church because inevitably, the wonder of God & Christ overwhelms me with emotion. Todd said, for some reason, the sermon really affected him this morning. He told me he was moved to tears, so I went on to tell him that I was crying during most of the service. When he asked me why, I, choking yet again, this time on my words, told him EXACTLY what you illustrated, when you said what God really wants is for us to have a relationship with Him!!! That’s all He’s ever wanted and why He created us…and then, I went on to tell Todd that what completely blows my mind away, something that I could NEVER comprehend how incredible it really is, is that, like you said, in order for us to have that relationship again (that was broken), Christ was crucified…the ultimate sacrifice – which is why I weep, and I’m filled with so much emotion. Christ’s life and His teachings are so profound, but they all point back to God’s love for us – and His desire to have a relationship with us.

    I remember something that was in a church bulletin last year – a quote, which said that the promise God makes most often in the Bible, is not that we are forgiven for our sins, or He loves us (though these are all true and spoken of frequently) – it is that He is always with us and will never leave us…even more pronounced when we accept Christ in our hearts, to draw us closer to Him.

    To live Christ-like is certainly the greatest challenge that we, as fallible humans, will ever undertake, and like you said, all of us WILL fall, but knowing that God is there, and His Word gives us the guidance to experience His love, that sacrifice He made, should fill us with the courage and faith to persevere. Hope you had a very blessed Easter!

    Sylvia

  2. Sandi says:

    Fellowship (A state of being together; companionship) When you love some one you want to spend time together & be with each other. Relationship ([noun] state of relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption. When we accept Christ, we are adopted & are His children. As the church, we are the bride of Christ preparing ourselves for His return!
    It takes time, effort & commitment to invest in a relationship. As a grandma, I am just realizing the importance, my self, of spending time with my Savior. I want to know Him & sense His presence in every area of my life.

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