Friday, April 9, 2010

My Chocolate Bunny Love for Jesus

He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!

Wait a minute. That was last week, wasn’t it? You might be thinking I’m a little confused, but I promise you I’m not. Last Sunday, all Christians around the world gathered to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus and the incredible gift of forgiveness and eternal life he offers to all people everywhere through his loving act of grace on the cross. Many of us gathered in flowery sanctuaries to sing and praise His name for an hour and left with the church bells still ringing in our ears as we headed to the house to be with family. At some point during the day, children ran around their homes or their yards looking for the hidden Easter candy and presents and then gorged themselves on the chocolate bunny and jelly beans from their Easter baskets while mom cooked dinner. But this is the Friday after and life is back to normal now, even for those employed by the church. So why did I start today’s blog with the traditional Easter greeting?

Last Sunday, as I walked into my brother’s home, my ten-year old niece came running to the front door to greet me. “Aunt Maureen, guess what I got?!” The twinkle in her eyes and huge smile had me curious. What could she have gotten that was worthy of this much enthusiasm. You would have thought it was Christmas with as excited as she was. She ran back to her Easter basket in the kitchen and picked up a chocolate bunny and some chocolate coins and ran into the hall to show them to me. “I got a chocolate bunny and chocolate coins!” she sang as she jumped up and down. Now you may find this an odd picture for a ten-year old to get this excited over some Easter candy, but here’s what you don’t know. My niece has life-threatening allergies to eggs and milk. She doesn’t even have to eat it, just touch milk or eggs or someone else who has touched them for her to be rushed to the emergency room with an asthma attack or possibly in anaphylactic shock. It’s almost impossible to find the standard chocolate bunny that doesn’t contain milk or that was made and wrapped by machines that have not been used to make or wrap candy that contains these ordinary, yet deadly for her, ingredients. So now you understand her enthusiasm. This is the second year in a row that she has found a chocolate bunny in her basket just like her older siblings and her enthusiasm for this special Easter gift has not waned one bit.

When I saw her on Tuesday for lunch, she again, excitedly reached into her lunch box and pulled out a couple of the chocolate coins to show me. The gleam in her eye sparkled just as brightly as it had on Sunday. I asked her if she had eaten her chocolate bunny yet and she told me she had only a couple of bites. I had to smile. I knew that she was savoring every bit of this incredible gift – one she thought she would never be able to have and now is hers to devour.

It got me to thinking about the incredible gift we all received on Easter. Am I savoring it? Do my eyes sparkle like my niece’s when I talk about his forgiveness? Am I so excited, even days or weeks later, that I am compelled to jump for joy? God came to earth, shared with us who he is, spent time among us. Then he took on our sin and the death penalty that goes with it upon himself. When I read about his death on the cross, do I read it as just another piece of history, something that happened long ago, or do I see that every day I am given this extraordinary and beautiful gift of the Savior’s love and grace? Do I celebrate it only on Easter or each and every day of the rest of the new life he died and rose to give me? Well, maybe I didn’t in the past, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start right now. My hope is that from now on, I will start each day celebrating that He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

About the pictures:
Phipps Conservatory (2009)

1 comment:

inChristalone said...

Very true Maureen. The Finished Work of Christ is for us every single day!