Saturday, April 11, 2009
Origins and the Spirit of Easter
Wild Easter Lily by KHall65890
I love Easter! I love cuddly chics, bunnies, lambs, baskets, bonnets, decor, pastels, lace, flowers, Cadbury bunny commercials... but what I truly, deeply love, is the True meaning of Easter.
I have a firm foundation and testimony in Jesus Christ, our Savior and his love and sacrifice for us. It is easy to forget this at times, but when we feel alone and in need, remembering Him and how He remembers us can help us. Let us always remember Him, not just when we need Him in times of trouble, but always! This video is a beautiful message about our Savior's atonement, and is my Easter message to you. You can read the full talk, by Apostle, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, entitled "None Were With Him", in which he describes the Savior’s solitary journey to overcome sin and death and testifies of the resulting blessings to all mankind.
Tulips & Eggs in a clear glass bowl and more ideas from The Inspired Room
In my family, our Easter tradition was laying out carrots and milk for the Easter bunny. On Easter morning, we awoke to a nibbled carrot stick, an empty cup of milk and milky paw prints on the table and the floor. Evidence!! Question. When you were little, did you envision the Easter Bunny to be like an actual looking bunny, or some huge rabbit like the kind in bunny costumes?
"A Little History: The origins of celebrating Easter seem to begin early in the third century with a movable feast honoring Christ’s resurrection. Early Christians may have eased cultural differences and religious conversions by relating their feast of Christ’s “renewal” or resurrection with Anglo-Saxon’s pagan spring celebrations involving Eostre, the goddess of spring and renewal, who was depicted at times with a hare or eggs. The Germans, much later in the 1500s, introduced the Easter Bunny or the “Oschter Haws” who would lay colored eggs in hidden caps and bonnets of boys and girls on Easter morning (boys made nests in their caps/girls made nests in their bonnest for the Bunny to lay the eggs).
By the time this tradition was brought to the United States, it was popular to leave out baskets for bunny and egg shaped sweets. Easter is now celebrated religiously and/or secularly throughout the world. As Christians, our family celebrates the Resurrection during Easter and we also are lucky enough to have the Easter Bunny hop by to celebrate it with us.
The following is a tradition we have begun with our family to help teach the meaning of the holiday: a few weeks before Easter we grow wheatgrass. As the wheatgrass grows, each day we review a little bit of the last days of Christ’s life and his resurrection. The definition of resurrection is “the act of rising from the dead or returning to life”. Since Easter is a time to celebrate the resurrection and a renewal of life, early spring is a perfect time to teach your children about birth, growth, the resurrection and life. While the grass is growing , we leave the grass out for the Easter bunny to leave treats on as an early reward for learning of and knowing the meaning of Easter. The above photo is our wheatgrass from this year!" ~segment by No Fuss Fabulous (click link for directions on growing wheatgrass and ideas of what to do with it!)
Another great idea to do with your children, is this paper Easter lily. You simply trace your child's hand on a piece of paper, cut it out, roll it up, roll the fingers down and attach it to pipe cleaners to make a paper flower. I think, you can teach how the Lord had a hand in creating so many wonderful things for us, like flowers and He also gave His life for us.
Then, after each family member has created their own handprint flower, put it in a vase together and show the children how the family is special and created by God, and each member of the family is here to love and help each other. They will see how beautiful and strengthening it is to put a single flower together with more to make the family bouquet. Full instructions/photos at Artists Helping Children.