After tucking the children into bed on Thursday evening, Mike and I settled on the couch and watched The Passion of the Christ again. It has been a few years since I've first watched this stirring depiction of Jesus' last hours before his crucifiction, and even though I was again deeply touched by the portrayal of the events leading up to His death, this is not a film I can watch frequently, or even annually. I am not sorry for having watched it again, though. It has helped me to purge from my heart the wordly misconceptions about this time of year that so easily entwines around one's heart in order to defile and distract: like the temptation to ignore what I know about the pagan origins of easter bunnies and easter eggs and letting my children join in the 'fun' of easter egg hunts etc. It encouraged me to return to the Word as I tell my children about the price Jesus paid for our salavation.
An after-lunch cuddle with ouma earlier today
On Good Friday at church we were treated to a beautiful musical play called One Voice - a fictional account of the struggle in the hearts of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea as they followed the days of Jesus' teaching and death, and, ultimately, His ressurection. Afterwards we shared in the Communion and by the end of the service the whole congregation sang, unaccompanied and with tangible emotion, Amazing Grace. Sweetpea LOVES music and dancing, so she was rivited throughout, but the highlight of the whole thing for her was seeing John the Baptist baptising Jesus! (John is her absolute favourite person in the Bible!)
And then the sun rose on this beautiful morning - Resurrection Sunday, for me the most significant and joyful day on the Christian calendar!! Because it was the event of my beautiful Saviour's resurrection that changed everything!!
We don't do Christmas in a big way - definitely no christmas trees and silver balls and chuby little angels - but Resurrection Sunday is a day of joyous celebration in our household! I got up early this morning and found Sweetpea all curled up on the couch in the living room. I have no I idea why or for how long she had been up - she usually crawls into bed wit us when she wakes up early - but I was happy to have my little girl with me in the early hours of this special day.
We put on our aprons and she pulled up her stepping stool to help me prepare the dough for making breakfast scones.
I used I sharp knife to cut the dough into shapes resembling a lamb (Jesus was the ultimate sacrificial lamb), cross (an empty cross - death could not hold Him!) and circle (because Jesus conquered death, we now can have eternal life if He lives in us!) We popped the scones in the oven and set a lovely table, before waking up Dad and little ArrowBoy.
At breakfast, Dad read the resurrection story from the book of John, and we sang Alive, Alive, Alive forevermore!(Sweetpea really putting in all her effort at every Hallelujah!) while I fed ArrowBoy his mashed banana inbetween.
(I just CANNOT get this picture to upload correctly! Hope you get the idea!)
They then got to open a little gift each (Sweetpea and Arrow got a DVD with children's worship songs. We don't own a TV, but invested in an extra-large computer screen on which good DVD's may be watched as an occassional treat. Dad and I got a triple play DVD set of Fireproof, Facing the Giants and Flywheel.)
After breakfast we put on the T-shirts we made last night.The children's read: "I DON'T NEED EASTER EGGS, I HAVE JESUS!" And after all that I was very surprised that we actually made it to chruch on time!
Our T-shirts says HE IS RISEN!
The children's T-shirts: I don't need easter eggs - I have Jesus!
In about half an hour we'll be off to my parents' for lunch, and then I will be very happy indeed if my two little lambs will both take a nice long, afternoon nap when we get back. Both. At the same time. For at least one hour, please!
I end on a sweetly commical note: We like to share Communion as a family at least once a week, but the frequency of it over the past few days (at church on Friday morning, and again at supper on Saturday,) obviously got to Sweetpea a bit. Last night we were having a delicious bowl of smoked chicken soup which my darling husband had prepared for us. Sweetpea was dipping a piece of bread in hers, took a bite and then handed the remainder to her dad, saying: "The body of Jesus, broken for you!"