Our pastor today mentioned that we are and should be Easter people. I have thought about what that means to me. By definition it is the most important and oldest festival for the Christian Church celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. By my definition of it is the most important reason I can celebrate the freedom Jesus has brought in my life. His resurrected life that lives in me every day. I think about the struggles the Jews had that led up to His crucifixion. The Seder dinner with all its parts and traditions has special meanings. I am probably not getting them all right, but what I can remember from Good Shepherd is this. The bitter herbs that remind us of the hyssop they used to cover the doors with blood to protect their children. The salty water for the many tears that were shed while they were in slavery. The egg that symbolizes new birth that comes with Jesus' resurrection life in us. The lamb shank reminding us of the perfect sacrificial lamb and His blood that was shed for us. The sweet apple mash giving us the hope of the promised land and freedom that comes from knowing and loving God. So many symbols, so many traditions, so many things to be thankful for. The word Eucharist comes from the Greek meaning grateful referring to the body and the blood of Christ, but for me it is so much more than that. My mindset is eucharistic as I celebrate God's hidden passion in me molding me into an Easter person. Walking in celebration as the new life in me is discovered and rediscovered daily as I look to Him.
One of our family traditions is to have a bunny cake on Easter. William's mom has made a bunny cake for years. Complete with ears, feet and jelly beans. I took to heart when she pulled us aside before she went home to be with Jesus and told us we were now stepping into a new role. I realize she meant it means more that just a bunny cake, but what I didn't realize was how meaningful a little cake could be to a family. I thought it's just a cake. We can make another cake or have some other kind of dessert. The look on my girls faces told me I had to step up to the plate and keep that flame alive. It was the first thing they would look for when they went to her house for Easter. I had no idea how to form a bunny out of round cakes, not that hard really and never was around her when she made it. I thought, well it will not be exactly like hers, but it will be my rendition of hers. I got my sisters incredible wedding cake recipe, took the Barefoot Contessa's cream cheese icing to ice the cake and then made the rest up as I remembered her version. These two pictures represent both versions. Hers is the one with William in the picture, and my version is the other one. You can see the cascarones on the counter she and her kids made that she pulled out every year after packing them safely away. My sister told me of some of the traditions she is beginning with her grandchildren with egg hunts, games and food she prepared for Easter. Traditions are fun and the only way they are carried on is if we carry them on. What I love about this example of the bunny cake is that it is and was made with so much love. We too were made with so much love to have, to give and to share with others. God created us to love Him so that we could know and learn how to love others. He teaches us all about love in His living example in Christ. We don't place too much emphasis on the Easter bunny around our house, just as we don't place too much emphasis on Santa. My children have known from the get go, they are not real, but pretending about them has always been fun. The thing is they know its pretend. Some kids are devastated when they find out the truth about the Easter Bunny and Santa. I guess I just never wanted them to have to find out that truth and wanted them to know the REAL TRUTH. The real truth that is Jesus. He is the real deal. Isn't it great that we never will find out that Jesus isn't real? He is REAL! He is alive and living through and in us everyday. Setting ourselves up with truth and the real deal with Jesus is what makes us Easter people every day. Keep His love alive by renewing our minds, fixing our eyes on Him and preparing our hearts in season and out. Let those bunny cake moments and traditions take root as a reminder of the love He poured out for us as we get to share with others the character and spirit of Easter all the time.