I love waking up early on Sunday mornings and enjoying the ‘quiet sounds’ before the coffee grinder starts, before hearing the water rushing through the shower pipes and before the phone rings to make last minute requests of things to bring to service.
I don’t even need to set my alarm to make sure I’m up… my mind & body just know that it also needs this quiet time. It’s awesome to know that your internal alarm clock is pretty in tune with your plans!
It’s Palm Sunday.
This past week I’ve been reflecting about Palm Sunday, Easter, traditions, and life:
I don’t recall ever meeting the Easter Bunny. I probably did though, because my maternal grandmother was really into that stuff. She also made sure to provide an egg hunt inside and outside, all the while the dogs followed me around because they knew I was in search of something and they wanted to know what I was looking for. In addition, I had to search for my candy basket. I most clearly remember the year she hid them behind the piles Disney and Richard Simmons videotapes… come to think of it, it’s amazing how much space the VHS took up!
Those hunts were very short lived, as I grew out of that stage and figured that since Santa wasn’t real then the Easter bunny definitely wasn’t. I had to recite to my grandmother what the reason of Easter was before the search took place. Yet, during service I looked forward to going home and perusing my basket to see what all was in there.
THEN, we had to go visit one set of great grandparents and have Easter dinner there. I hate ham. My great grandmother, Helen, made me hate ham. She had to use it in every single dish she made, including the salad dressing. She was from the Czech/Slovak lands and she said it was tradition. I just knew that I never felt comfortable on her plastic covered couch and I loathed the two times a year I ate ham (we ate Christmas Day dinner at her house too).
In recent years as I’ve reflected on these memories, I’m glad that I have them and can laugh about them, but I’m more grateful that I was taught the meaning of Easter. Funny enough, my family is so non-traditional with traditional holidays. Sometimes we have a themed meal and then sometimes we opt for more of a buffet of odd dishes one could eat on Easter Sunday. Our focus is on our Savior, who started His journey to the cross for us to have life on this day.
Today I had the pleasure of explaining to a first grader why it’s called Palm Sunday and why we hand out palms. I also taught them how to make a bow out of the palms (the cross shape didn’t come out too well).
Do you have any Easter traditions? Are there traditions that you’re trying to start with your family? Any unique traditions?
Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha).18 There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.19 And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth,t the King of the Jews.”
20 The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.
21 Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’”
22 Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dicet for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.”t So that is what they did.
25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene.26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.”
27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.
28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”t29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.
30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
John 19:17-30 (NLT)