On Wednesday evening of this week I was sitting at a leadership meeting at church. We were offering up our praises to the Lord as we sat around a large, old wooden cross.
I was sitting just 5 feet from the cross. I am not sure I have ever sat so close to a cross.
I stared at it and stared at it. As I looked at the old, weathered cross, I began thinking about Jesus hanging there and the pain he endured.
I thought about how rarely I contemplate his sacrifice for me.
I thought about how he knew when he was hanging there that he would be on that cross for me.
I thought about how Easter is just weeks away - this year Easter takes place on Sunday, April 12.
I thought about how our society tries to make Easter about buying Easter outfits for kids, creating Easter baskets, buying them Easter toys, making Easter eggs and doing Easter egg hunts.
I recalled nearly a year ago when I was volunteering in our nursery at church one Sunday evening. It was the Sunday before Easter and the kids colored a lesson about the tomb being empty on Easter morning.
I vividly recall a sweet 3-year-old named Demi, running to her mom, waving her coloring sheet and saying, "Jesus is alive!"
My heart melted. Even though I wasn't a mom at the time, I could take joy in the fact that there was a little one who knew we serve a Living God.
I certainly plan to dress Samuel in something cute on Easter. I plan to take pictures of his first Easter. I might even make him a blessing basket (my version of an Easter basket).
But I was hit hard Wednesday night with the desire to teach Samuel much more about Easter than just bunnies, candy and eggs (real or chocolate!).
I desire to teach Samuel about a Jesus who loved him so much He went to the cross for him.
I desire to teach Samuel about a God whose love is so faithful and unending that He sent his only Son for me...and for him!
I desire to teach Samuel the true meaning of Easter. Because without Easter my faith is meaningless. Jesus was born at Christmas. He died on Good Friday. But what separates my faith and beliefs from others is that I believe that Jesus rose on Easter morn - he conquered death - and that is what we celebrate each year.
I believe God has given me the responsibility to teach my child more about Easter than just chocolate and bunnies and fun games.
And so, with much anticipation, I look forward to the day when I will hear the precious words of truth coming from Samuel's mouth: "Jesus is alive!"