Last night my little boy shocked my husband by announcing that Easter was more fun than Christmas. 🙂 (Christmas is a big deal at our house, and we love all of the traditions around it). When asked why, he listed all of the “fun activities” about Easter. The last few years we have spent Sunday morning attending a sunrise service near our house and watching that church’s teens put on a short play about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Andrew loves it (and admittedly doesn’t have much experience with Nativity plays at Christmas). For him, Easter means jellybeans (and one year an activity that incorporated jelly beans into Lent… which we didn’t do this year), egg hunts on beautiful spring days, and worship.
His comment got me thinking… I didn’t really grow up celebrating the religious aspects of Christmas OR Easter. I’ve grown to love that side of both of them. Easter is my favorite as well. The message of Christmas is hope and God entering the world… and that is amazing. But the message of Easter is that what began on Christmas has been completed. Sin has been defeated, creation is being renewed, God’s redeeming work is finished (and yet somehow still working today). Easter is a time of praise and rejoicing and happiness.
Easter is even more special because it is preceded by days of waiting… by the celebration of Good Friday… by commemorating the silence that was Saturday. Last night we attended a Good Friday service. We reflected on what the cross meant. We reflected on Jesus’ name and his work. He honored his taking on of sins even yet to come. We knelt down (admittedly, that was figuratively and not literally) in honor of his sacrifice… and can’t wait to stand up in praise as we celebrate his resurrection on Sunday.