Friday, April 17, 2009

We come to him broken and empty...

I don't know how you celebrate Easter. But in our family as much as we try to make it about Jesus, the little furry visitor always seems to illicit unparalleled excitement or should I say Eggscitement.
So the dilemma do we return the focus to the real reason we celebrate Easter?
I'd love to hear what traditions you have.
Our family seems to tweak our traditions every year. One of our traditions is to make resurrection cookies, looking at the Bible verses as we go.
Easter Story Biscuits (aka Resurrection Cookies)
Preparation Time: 20 mins / Total Time: 1 day
1 cup pecan nuts
1 tsp vinegar
3 egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 cup sugar
large plastic bag
wooden spoon
sticky tape
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F)
2. Place pecans in the plastic bag and let your children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into
small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman Soldiers. Read
John 19: 1-3.
3. Let each child smell or taste the vinegar. Put 1 tsp vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when
Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19: 28-30.
4. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us
life. Read John 10: 10-11.
5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own
sin. Read Luke 23:27. Beat mixture until soft peaks form.
6. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves
us. He wants us to know Him and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34: 8 and John 3: 16. Beat mix for
another minute until sugar dissolved.
Explain that the colour white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1: 18 and John 3: 1-3.
8. Fold in the broken nuts.
9. Drop a teaspoon-full of the mixture onto non-stick, baking paper on a tray. Explain that each
mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27: 57-60.
10. Put the baking sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off.
11. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read
Matthew 27: 65-66. (be careful when putting the tape on the oven - it'll still be hot!)
12. Go to bed! Explain that they may feel sad to leave them in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers
felt despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
13. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a biscuit. Notice the cracked surface and
take a bite. The biscuits are hollow! Explain that on the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed
to find the tomb open and empty! Read Matthew 28: 1-9.
This year we tried to do something a little bit different.
We encouraged the children to make their own nests for the Easter Bunny (an activity guaranteed to occupy them for an entire day). Then before they went to bed we asked them to take these plastic eggs and place them in their nests broken apart. P4126550 This is when we asked them what Easter was really all about. I took a broken egg, held it up and told them that we are like these eggs. We have an empty space inside that can only be filled by Jesus; that though we have sinned and fall short time and time again....he takes it all away and fills up up with hope and a future; though we are broken and empty he completes us and improves us and makes something wonderful out of our brokenness. On Easter Sunday when the children awoke they found their eggs filled with treats and surprises. And the eggs were whole.
P4126552 I pray that your family has had a Blessed Easter. And that you have too have found a way to remember the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and to intentionally teach your children.
I wonder what did your family do?
And, how has he put you back together, filled you up and made you into something very special, whole and complete.....?

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