Little Thoughts for Easter

Give Us an ‘E’, Give Us an ‘R’…

Well, a couple of days after Easter Sunday itself, it’s our last two letters for the price of one! We’ve had a lovely Easter weekend but, with the lure of lovely weather, outside has been the thief of our time! The recent additions of some outdoor play equipment, sunny skies, dry weather, a garden that’s been calling out for some TLC and not just 2 but 3 little people who are more than willing to be outside (yep, it seems that even at 8 months little Miss M has developed a very definite taste for the great outdoors. I anticipate a summer (weather permitting obviously!!) of unfinished indoor jobs and lots of time spent outdoors… Weather, please be kind! :o)

My techinical gremlins have been messing about again and so, there is a lack of pictures to go with this post but, all being well, a more picture less words post will appear in the not too distant future… I hope!

Our last two letters, E and R completed, as I’m sure you’d spotted by now if you’ve been following us, our spelling out of the word Easter! The revelation of the last two letters meant that we were finally able to complete our Easter twig tree… at last we can declare, ‘It is finished!’ and, we are so thankful that this is the message of grace we celebrate at Easter!

E was for ‘Each’, courtesy of Ethel Egg!  This Egg drew our attention to the individuality of the love displayed at Easter… love for each and every one of us! I believe it was Saint Augustine who said, ‘God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.’ What a thought! It blows me away to think that God has numbered the hairs on each of our heads… that’s more than we even know about ourselves! I know that, try as I may, that is an idea I struggle to get my head around – let’s face it, where on earth would we even start! I’ve recently recently been reading a book called ‘Crash the Chatterbox’ and I have to say I was blown away by the author’s interpretation of how God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice rather than in a ground-shaking gesture because of His proximity to us – ‘He whispers becuase He’s close’ – what a reassurance this is!

But, at Easter of course, we do celebrate the biggest possible demonstration of love and devotion – all because God loves us; indeed, loved us, even before we existed! As we thought about the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus, how this happened for each of us (Matthew 26 – 27/ Mark 14 – 15/ Luke 22 – 23/ John 18 – 19), we were also reminded of Matthew 10 verses 29 -31: ‘ Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.’

We had nothing to do to earn this love – even in our messy, sinful, far from perfect state, God allowed His precious, perfect Son to take our place and the punishment that He did not deserve but that we ceratainly did.  As a parent, the magnitude of this sacrifice is more than my mind can truly understand. In an effort to help the girls understand this, we created papier mache eggs… ok, roughly egg- shaped creations! These began life as a balloon, torn up bits of unattractive newspaper and a runny, messy mixture we used to blend it altogether.  (Moment of honesty… We attempted papier mache (a hot air balloon!!) a couple of years ago using the glue/water mix and it took days to dry out, I kid you not! So, I decided to try a flour and water mix this time.  The result? Still a soggy mess that took days to dry out!! This made me very glad we had had our Blue Peter moment with the egg ‘shells’, so that they were ready for decorating at the weekend!)

Using glue, coloured tissue paper and a few other bits and pieces, the once unattractive greyish blobs became something much more beautiful.  Jesus’ death was an incredible gift, but it took an ugly act to make the gift of love and life real for us. Ecclesiastes reminds us that, ‘He makes all things beautiful in His time.’ Amazing to think that even with our mess-ups, if we love and trust Him, God can use us to bring the beauty of His love into a hurting world!

Well, our final installment arrived in the form of Eric who brought us that last letter of Easter to hang on our twigs!  Falling on Easter Sunday, it’s not surprising that our attention was turned to the resurrection and the joy of life and hope that defeating sin and death brought! Our ‘R’ was for ‘Resuce’ but, also for Resurrection and Rejoice! This part of the Easter story can be found, as with the others, in the Gospels (Matthew 28: 1 – 10; Mark 16: 1 – 10; Luke 24: 1 – 12; John 20:1 – 18).  I love how some of the details vary between each of them.  Not that they contradict each other but, rather, that they compliment each other. A group of people will all recall things differently because we are all different people and we see things in a different way and so, I love this insight into the humanity of the recollection of all that happened that first Easter day!

We talked about how chicks and eggs are reminders of new life – the very focus of our Easter celebrations! We are thankful for the fact that the tomb was empty because death could not hold Jesus! His return to life from death gives us hope and the gift of new life, if we choose to accept! The resurrection was and is part of our rescue plan – a plan that has been in place to rescue us! We often sing, ‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost, but now am found…’ Like a child who can so quickly get fed-up with hiding and eagerly reveals themselves to their ‘finder’, we can look to God and allow Him to rescue us!

It seemed very fitting that our activity was, of course, an Easter Egg and Chick hunt!! The girls were let loose in the garden with their special Easter Egg collecting bags (otherwise known as plastic ones!) and before long, they had returned with their loot! Most of the hidden treasures were easily found, but a little help was needed to gather in the last of the haul.  Well, I say the last, in all honesty, despite ‘carefully’ counting all the eggs and chicks we hid, we got a little distracted and so, there is the possibility that chicks and chocolate could indeed turn up as hidden extras in random places in our garden over the next while.

How quickly we forgot the tiny details of the simple hiding task we’d carried out! How thankful are we that God forgets no details and that He has provided everything we need… no hidden extras; no forgotten details.  The work is finished. We need look no further – His grace is enough… EVERY SINGLE DAY!

This Laura Story song says it all better than I ever could:

My heart is so proud. My mind is so unfocused.
I see the things You do through me as great things I have done.
And now You gently break me, then lovingly You take me
And hold me as my father and mould me as my maker.[Chorus:]
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: “My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”At times I may grow weak and feel a bit discouraged,
Knowing that someone, somewhere could do a better job.
For who am I to serve You? I know I don’t deserve You.
And that’s the part that burns in my heart and keeps me hanging on.

[Chorus:]
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: “My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”
You are so patient with me, Lord.

As I walk with You, I’m learning what Your grace really means.
The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary.
So, instead of trying to repay You, I’m learning to simply obey You
By giving up my life to you For all that You’ve given to me.

[Chorus:]
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: “My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”

 Happy Easter x

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