Easter Advent Week 2
Back in high school when I was young and even younger in my faith, I carried this mentality that celebrations were frivolous. To me, it didn’t matter that I walked across the stage at graduation. I cared far more about how I spent those days in my high school. When I got married, I didn’t really want a big, fancy wedding. The wedding to me didn’t matter. What would matter was how I lived each day of my marriage afterward. I don’t think I was completely wrong in that mindset, because it does matter how we live every day. We, one day, will all have to stand before the Lord our Maker and give account for every idle word (Matthew 12:36). But holidays and celebrations remind us of our purpose in the every day and refresh our souls.
Did you know that God actually commands us to celebrate? In the Levitical laws, He named seven specific holidays where the Israelites were to do “not do any ordinary work.” (Leviticus 23). These were apart from the weekly Sabbath that He set up for them. They called the people to remember the Lord their God and what He had done for them. We see Jesus obeying these laws in the Gospels. The Last Supper was a Passover Meal, one of these commanded holidays. It would have been easy for Him to overlook this day. Why celebrate when he was about to face the cross? Not to mention all the crowds desiring to see him and beg for miraculous. Still, “Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.’” (Luke 22:8). Holidays are special moments for us to step back and connect with those around us.
Perhaps it’s just me, but other than the sleepless nights, one of the hardest parts about being a mother is the mundanity. I remember once trying to pick up a puzzle that had been dumped for the umpteenth time that day. The board, topped with a pile of pieces, sat on the floor in front of me, and I could do nothing about it because my arms were occupied holding both my twins back. In that moment, I felt so completely worthless. Nothing I did mattered. I would wash all the dishes for someone to plop a new one in the sink as the water drained. Laundry- well, that’s impossible to be completely done. And the repetition of “No,” to my toddlers drove me bonkers. Through all of that, I’ve found it necessary to break the cycle of everyday life. We do it in small ways with trips to the park or grandma’s. Simply stepping out of my environment helps.
During this Easter season, let’s make an intentional effort to step out from our typical environments. Choose to go visit family, even if they’re far away. Or perhaps all your family is close by and you see them too much. Then find a place in nature (if your climate allows) or even just a quiet cafe to be alone with God. I’ve found that when I step out of the house, I become a better mom when I return. Taking your faith outside your four walls will allow you to serve God better in the familiar environments.
Along with stepping out of your routine places, home and work, you can also change your environment. I have a friend right now who is finding joy in painting her house. She’s bringing in color and creating spaces that make her happy. For me during this Easter season, we’ll be making decorations, putting up streamers and balloons, and getting flowers for outside. By beautifying our places, we are declaring those spaces sacred to the Lord. When we gaze upon the new decorations, they rekindle the joy that is already ours.
Another aspect of our lives that grows to be mundane is food. I often feel like I’m always making the same meals over and over. Those meals are delicious, but they lose their zing. But, back to Leviticus 23, God calls these holidays, convocations and feasts. Typically, when I think of the word feast, I think of mounds of food, but one of these feasts was the Passover Feast. This meal was made of foods specifically to represent how the Israelites fled Egypt in a hurry. So when we go into our Easter celebrations, let’s be selective about the foods set before us. In my beloved Polish family, it’s necessary to have Lamb cake, Lamb butter, and hot cross buns. The lambs represent to us, Christ, the Lamb of God who sacrificed Himself, and the buns hold the symbol of his crucifixion. Many people say the egg is like the trinity with three parts, but being one whole egg. My point is simply that God cares about what we eat. We don’t want to be like the Israelites in the desert being sick and tired of eating Mana every day. We can shake things up, and above all, we can adopt the mindset of being grateful for the food in front of us.
Will you join me in taking time to prepare and remember the significance this time of year holds? Let’s make this Easter season different. Special. Easter is when we receive the hope that started as a seed at Christmas. The resurrection of Christ is what our faith hinges on, and it’s exciting. He is Risen and is coming again! I want to celebrate with you the day that changed eternity.
“Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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