As I grew up and had my own family, we continued this tradition, but somehow, I've felt a lack of focus on the true meaning of Easter.
I mean, if the reason we celebrate Christmas is because of Christ's birth, how much more important is his Atonement and Resurrection? Millions and millions have been born, but only one person lived a perfect life, paid for all our sins and pains, and then was resurrected.
And we do all kinds of activities during the Christmas season to remind us of Christ. It seemed a bit anticlimactic to only have one day for Easter.
Not to mention, I've become much more familiar with death and pain over the past five years than I expected to be. So many, many of my friends have empty arms. Just this weekend a young man with a combination of Trisomy 13 and 17 passed away. He was 22 years old. How much hope his family has given me. But they have a hope and a faith in Christ, and are clinging to that in their grief.
This year, I found a book called Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter, and it was exactly what I was looking for. We spent this last week focusing on those in the Savior's life and their examples, and His example. And I felt the joy of Easter morning more than I think I ever have.
On Monday, we talked about Lazarus and the unexpected hope that comes even in the darkest moments of our lives. We planted wheat seeds and watered them, and waited for the green life to appear out of the darkness of the earth.
Tuesday, we made simple bracelets and talked about Simon, the Cyrenian, who helped the Savior by carrying the cross bar. He couldn't take away what was coming, but he helped make the burden lighter for a short time. The bracelet reminded us to look for a way to serve someone else, and to lighten their burdens.
On Wednesday, we talked about Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, who had secretly been following Jesus, but at this time made their support public. They gave up much in the public eye for their testimonies. We wrote down our testimonies and scriptures about Jesus and placed them in eggs.
Thursday, we spoke of Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and Mary, the wife of Cleophus, her sister. Each of them had personal experiences with the Lord that helped create their testimonies. Mary stood by her Son, her sister supported her. Mary Magdalene was the first to see the resurrected Savior. We dyed eggs red to symbolize life (the egg) coming from death (the color red). I also like to place the egg on the temple as the temple covenants are what bind us together.
Saturday, we talked about the scriptures, and how when the Savior spoke of them when traveling with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, they recognized his teachings. And if we draw near to Him through the scriptures, we will know Him better and His Spirit will be with us.
This morning, Easter morning, we got up to view the sunrise. While waiting, we opened the eggs and read the testimonies inside. Because the miracle is, the tomb is empty. He lives. And because He lives, I will live again, too. He is my Savoir, my Defender, my Friend.