-by Kirsten Stillman
In comparison to other holidays, it seems like Easter often gets overlooked, or over-hyped, with tales of bunnies and the annual running about to find egg-shaped candy treats in grandma’s backyard. Compared to Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day, it seems to me like Easter’s beaming presence is shushed in preference to the louder, flashier holidays.
I see it year after year as many social networks are bombarded with cute bunny pictures and stores sell enough chocolate to power a church full of small children for a month. But this year, I wanted Easter to be different – not in the “I’m going to change the world overnight and everyone will suddenly love Easter for the same reason as me” way, but in a quieter, more personal way.
Because (confession time), I like bunnies and chocolate, too … *gasp*. I know, shocking confession, right?
But on a more serious note, I wanted it to be different this year because of my own changing perspective on faith and what it means to be a true Christ-follower. I’m definitely not perfect, and I know that I don’t deserve what Jesus died on the cross to give me. But I do know that I can at least honor Him and His Son in a way that doesn’t have to completely exclude bunnies and chocolate.
Instead of focusing on the fun of getting a giant, chocolate-induced stomachache (which is fun in a once-a-year-way), I wanted to remind myself of the reason why we have a holiday at a time of the year that means renewal and rebirth.
Wrapped up inside a message that gets better every year, I found at least one reminder, among all the others this season. In his Easter Sunday message, Pastor Brian Doten offered a stark visual representation of broken pottery, which symbolized the broken pieces of our lives.
Pastor Doten also had a large scale-like contraption that took up most of the foreground for the entirety of the sermon. On one scale he put the broken pottery pieces, on the other he put an intact clay jar. The clay jar represented how Christ can take the broken pieces of our lives and make them whole and new again.
A message of redemption in Jesus’ purpose here on earth and why God allowed His Son to give His life on the cross for us was further illustrated by an unbroken, and beautifully smooth clay jar that was placed on the other side of the scale. The scale rebalanced itself so the broken pieces lifted to the ceiling, as if trying to reach heaven so that God could take them away and make the pieces whole once again.
It was a beautiful restatement that Easter is about more than the rebirth and renewal of God’s creation of natural, earth-bound beauty. It’s about redemption from our sins. It’s a reminder that nothing is more heartbreakingly beautiful than Christ’s sacrifice that makes us as unblemished and whole as that perfectly flawless jar of pottery.