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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Traditions {39 of 40 Stories}


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I woke up on this Easter morning, with these words of Jesus wrapped around me: “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.” (John 11:25-26, NLT)

It feels like an Easter of broken traditions, and there is a little sting pricking at my heart. We decided to take this weekend as our annual get-a-way with my parents and brother’s family. One yes always means a million noes.

No to Easter service.
No to Easter pictures.
No to Easter breakfast with our church family.
No to Easter dinner with the Ayres family.
No to the Annual Ayres Easter Egg Hunt.
No to waking up to jelly beans on the nightstands.
No to Easter baskets on the kitchen table.
No to Easter surprises from my parents that always show up while we are gone on Easter day.

In an almost-feeling-guilty stage, I stop myself and ask: What is the tradition you want your children to grow up and remember? Love. I want them to have the tradition of love. 

Loving more.
Loving through the hard.
Loving family.
Loving friends.
Loving strangers.
Loving imagination.  
Loving because Jesus first loved us.

This is the tradition I hope we live on Easter and every other day of the year.

Jesus’ words are much more than tradition.  They are the truth of our faith, the reason we love. This Easter, we are living the truth of Jesus outside of the church building, outside of our traditions. This is how holidays, and this most holy of all holidays, becomes more than a date and more than a series of traditions. It’s about the choices we make to love – loving family and friends and strangers and ourselves. It’s learning that the more we love Jesus, the more we are able to love others. This is the tradition worth keeping – learning to love more.