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From Lent to Easter

The hardest part of the Gospels for me to read (in any of the books) is the window of time between the last supper and the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ after three days of death. Frankly, it should be hard. Several movies depict what’s known as the passion of the Christ, to which the word “passion” means “suffer, bear, and endure.” These movies are equally if not more so difficult to watch because of their graphic depictions of the sufferings endured by Christ. Yet, difficult as it may be, for someone to have a complete adult understanding of the Christian faith, comprehension, and understanding of Christ’s suffering and resurrection are needed to truly understand the miracle of Easter.

My children, however, are too young to have this understanding. They don’t know what death is because they have never experienced the death of a loved one. The closest they have been exposed to concerning death are those of animals on nature documentaries (like those narrated by David Attenborough) who often meet their fate vis-a-vis predator to prey. Hazel has asked about those animals, like why did the baby wildebeest go to sleep with the lions? I tell her the truth. The lions will eat the wildebeest because if they don’t, they will starve. For the lions to live, some prey will die and be eaten, but most prey will survive. It’s a complex lesson, one not fully understood but understood enough for my children to comprehend that death in nature is a natural process. In the case of the Biblical story of Easter, all they have been exposed to at this stage is that Jesus Christ died and he came back to life after three days. The comprehension of a two-year-old does not need to go any deeper than that, nor should it. They have what I call a child’s understanding of Easter.

Maintaining a child’s understanding of Easter is my goal for my children over the next several years until they are developmentally ready to understand the complexity of the numerous difficult concepts revealed in the final days of Jesus’s life (and death): the betrayal of Judas, the mob mentality of the crowds, absolving of responsibility through a symbolic act (Pilate washing his hands), Peter’s denial, the mourning and unwavering faith and love of the women followers, and the miraculous resurrection of Christ. These are all complex ideas that are beyond the comprehension of a small child, but many of these ideas can be gradually explored as the child matures and develops greater life experiences, at least that will be my intentions with my children as they grow up and develop their understanding of faith.

Since Lent, I have refrained from writing blog posts. I did this deliberately. I considered it a mental palate cleanser and wanted to spend this time reflecting on simply being present in my life with my family. I’ve written personal journal entries, in addition to several graduate school papers, but I wanted to take a deliberate pause in my blog. I’ve reflected on the direction I wanted to take in this blog, in addition to reflecting on the transformative power of change. If there is one overpowering lesson to be learned, it is that of resurrection. To resurrect is to restore a dead person to life, as is the case of Jesus Christ, but it is also to revive the practice, use, or memory of something, to bring new vigor. For me, I now have a clear direction in my intentions for this blog along with realigning my priorities to changing circumstances.

Although the idea of resurrection is probably beyond the comprehension of most preschoolers, the idea of birth and creating something new is an idea that they can wrap their minds around. As we celebrate Easter and reflect on the miracle of resurrection, as we search for colorful eggs in the backyard or share a meal with loved ones, consider the many ways that resurrection can play a role in shaping your life moving forward. Perhaps it’s resurrecting a healthy practice that has been paused or abandoned. Perhaps it’s the renewal of relationships that have been plagued with physical and emotional distance because of the constraints of COVID. Perhaps it’s shaking off the comforts of home and venturing out to whatever lies ahead. Perhaps it’s a renewed sense of wonder in the world, our world. Whatever it may be, I wish you all a Happy Easter.


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