Last week our temperatures dropped considerably and we had several freezing nights. Some of my daffodils froze, but I covered most of my hyacinths so they survived. I'm not sure if our apple and the mountain ash trees froze, but the locust trees weren't budded yet, so they should be all right unless we get another freezing night after their buds come out later. Some of the fruit trees near the lake were affected also, so maybe the fruit crops will be affected too. Although this winter and spring has been unusually warm, making the buds come out early, often we do get freezing spring days in our area, sometimes as late as May. Nevertheless, the farmers manage to cope for they are a sturdy lot.
Whatever weather takes place next week, it won't change the date for Easter or, as Christians often call it, Resurrection Sunday. That special day arrives on Sunday, April 8. Although the origin of its name is unknown, scholars accepted the derivation proposed by the 8th century English scholar Saint Bede who believed it probably came from the Anglo-Saxton holiday which was called Estre. It was celebrated in honor of the Teytibuc-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility. In that day, eggs were painted in hues of bright colors representing the sunlight of spring and used in an egg rolling contest given as gifts.
Some years later, Christians began celebrating Easter as the date Christ rose from the grave three days after He was crucified on the cross. In early Christian times, the day extended until the following Sunday when the newly baptized wore white garments, the liturgical color of Easter and signifying light, purity and joy.
Nowadays, Christians, those who have accepted Christ as their Savior and Lord, often have a Good Friday service prior to the Easter celebration of Resurrection Sunday. It is no longer a service to honor some goddess, but a service of thanks to God for sending His Son to Earth, shed His blood on the cross to provide the propitiation for anyone who confesses their sin and accepts by faith, Christ as their personal savior and Lord.
Although many families celebrate Easter with colored eggs, chocolate or stuffed bunnies, egg hunts, etc., Annie's Pages on the Internet gives various ways the Resurrection Sunday can be celebrated. I have mentioned several and there probably are more on the subject on the Internet also.
A family might make their own tradition such as giving "lambs" instead of bunnies because Jesus is the believers "pass over lamb." He also speaks about the perfect lamb used in the Old Testament as a sacrifice for sin. "New" is one of the key works for today and Jesus gives those who accept His gift of salvation, a new day, new beginnings and new life.
Yet another way to celebrate Resurrection Sunday is to start is with a sunrise service. If the weather is suitable, it can be held just as the sun in coming up in the morning.
Annie also gives a recipe for making special Easter cookies. Children could help their moms cut them out as lambs or use other symbols of the special day. Candy could be made in shapes also.
I believe children should learn why we celebrate Easter and certain foods and confections representing the true meaning of Easter are a good way to teach them why Christians celebrate it in a way they will always remember.
The following poem written by the late Helen Steiner Rice adequately describes my thought on Easter:
A troubled word can find
And enduring peace of mind...
For though we grow discouraged
In this world we're living in,
There is comfort just in knowing
God has triumphed over sin...
For our Savior's Resurrection
Was God's way of telling men
That in Christ we are eternal
And in Him we live again...
And to know life is unending
And God's love is unending, too,
Makes our daily asks and burdens
So much easier to do...
For the blessed Easter story
Of Christ the living Lord,
Makes our Earthly sorrow nothing
When compared with this reward.
I wish you all a blest and happy Easter.