My Easter memories as a child are of many things. Before Easter the department stores in the town where my Grandma lived sold baby chickens and ducks. I don’t really remember about the ducks but yes, the baby chicks were dyed Easter egg colors. The rumors are true. I am sure it did not harm them though because our baby chicks grew up before us with no known ill effects. I still can’t hardly believe it but one year our parents allowed us to bring the baby chicks home to our house in town. They lived in a box in the laundry room until they got so big they could get out. Then they were taken to our great grandparent’s farm. It wasn’t until years later that the realization set in that one of those fried chicken dinners was quite possibly our pet chickens.
Other things that said ‘Easter” back then were new a Easter bonnet, dress, white patent leather shoes and white gloves (Yes – that was a very long time ago). It was a special day and I have a memory of going to church all dressed up. Then it was off to Grandma’s house where we colored eggs and then began the process of hiding and finding them. Rain or shine, we colored eggs and had an Easter Egg Hunt. Of course if it was in the house, it was critical to count the eggs before hiding them. You never want to find an Easter egg later by following the smell.
And, just like Labor Day marked the day we put away our white shoes and purses, Easter was when we brought them out again. I don’t think many people observe those customs any longer but it was like a rule when I grew up. Of course there were always Easter baskets filled with candy and goodies. Sadly though, I don’t remember any mention of Jesus during our Easter celebrations. That’s not to say I never heard about Him but I don’t remember it if I did. It wasn’t until years later that I found out the true reason Easter is celebrated. It’s not just Easter (a time for family dinners, Easer baskets and egg hunts), it’s “Resurrection Sunday” – the day we celebrate the loving gift God gave to humanity through His Son, Jesus Christ.
What Easter means to me now is love, sacrifice, hope, a future, and eternal life in heaven with God.
These days we don’t find colored baby chicks or ducks for sale in our stores. Easter bonnets, white gloves and patent leather shoes are a thing of the past. But, we still get caught up in the worldly celebrations of Easter rather than focusing on the true reality of what Easter is really all about. It’s about a person, Jesus Christ, who gave himself up out of love for The Father and for all of us. He was our perfect sin sacrifice. The white we can see in Easter now is that our sins can be washed clean and we can be made pure before our God because of Jesus – IF we accept His free gift and follow Him.
So, as we celebrate Easter this year, let’s reflect on what Easter really means to us and get our focus in the proper place. We can still share chocolates and hunt eggs but let’s remember that day so very long ago when the stone was rolled away and the Savior had risen.
Luke 14:1-8: “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.