Friday, March 27, 2009

The Resurrection Day Challenge: an appropriate Gift

Sometimes being a Jesus follower can be harder among Christian circles than among friends who don't share the same spiritual beliefs. What?! Huh? Yes, among believers (people who believe that Jesus is God, lived, came to earth, died on a cross for each person's sins, rose from the dead, and went back to heaven to prepare a place for those who believe in these events) there is a camp of extreme followers of Jesus, and I am probably one of them. I'm not extreme in being cult-like, or only wearing skirts, or refraining from jewelry, or keeping my mouth shut and my opinions to myself.

I sometimes use U2 lyrics to praise God. I think our unusual dog can be a stroke away from sharing Jesus. I think that at times using our culture can reveal the hole in people's hearts, only to be filled by Jesus. I think following the Old Testament law regarding food, can actually keep you healthier. We celebrate Jewish holidays that point to our Messiah. I think essential oils can be God's healing tool. I think we should give birth like Eve did.

You could say that I am a little different, and my parent's would tell you that I have been different from birth.

I'm extreme in wanting my kiddos to experience Jesus in a radical and personal manner, void of the modern traditional ways of worshipping Jesus and celebrating modern holidays. And that causes friction. That causes tension. That causes some shaking in beliefs and people's foundation of how they have always believed. It makes life exciting, too. It causes you and me to seek the truth in God's Love Letter to us, the Bible. It causes us to ask, "God, how do YOU want me to live my life and steer the rudder of my family."

And that brings me to a recent discussion topic: what gift do you give at Easter? None. We don't celebrate Easter. Did you know that Easter is NEVER mentioned in the Bible? It is an ancient Pagan holiday. (You really should research the roots of Easter. Don't celebrate something because that is what everyone else does.) So why would we celebrate something that doesn't exist in scripture? Interesting.

Our family chooses to celebrate Resurrection Day, which sometimes falls on the Feast of First Fruits. You say, "Granola Mom stop being so stubborn and stuck on semantics." Nope.

I'm different. I'm called to be a follower of Jesus. I want to be radical. Jesus was radical and shook things up. He wanted the Pharisees and religious leaders of His day to dismiss the traditions of man, and follow the way of Him.

OK . . . so what gift can we give our kids? Not giving the seemingly harmless Easter basket complete with a Cadbury egg and stuffed bunny is a tough memory to dispose of, I will admit that. But what does an Easter bunny or egg teach us about Christ's death and resurrection on the cross? Both symbolize fertility, which has NOTHING to do with God saving mankind.

Shouldn't the gift of eternal life make us giddy beyond belief? What an exciting miracle and gift--this is to be the focus of our celebration. We should help our children to look forward with eager anticipation the arrival of this significant, reflective day that completely defeated death and brought hope, meaning, and purpose to our lives. I will be so bold to say that Resurrection Day is almost more important than Christmas, which actually has many Pagan connotations. Yes, Jesus had to be born. But Resurrection Day is the day that took away fear for all humankind. It is the day where God really showed His power and love for you and me.

In a nutshell, I really don't have an answer for you. I love to give my children gifts and look for any excuse I can to bless them. I'll be honest, I have already scouted and purchased a gift for my children. I am really excited to give them this living gift. Additionally, we will probably also work on some Memory Cross cards. And we do have Resurrection Eggs, but I am tempted to put them in boxes! A lapbook might emerge at some point.

The biggest and best gift? Be radical. Celebrate Resurrection Day in a meaningful and bold way. Defy modern religious traditions. Read the Gospel and ask God to show you how to celebrate this incredible event that will create a lasting and eternal impact for your family.