Monday, April 05, 2010

Children and the First Easter

My pastor/husband Nate loves to pull off impromptu dramas involving children, in order to get a message across. However, this time it was 7 AM on Easter morning, at our church's outdoor Sunrise Service. It was neither the place or the time of day you would expect to see some children performing in a drama – but that was exactly what was unfolding. The costumes were transforming children into characters at the scene on that very first Easter morning. The limited amount of children awake and in attendance - half of them ours, and half belonging to friends who had been forewarned - meant that the young cast only consisted of one soldier, two angels, three women and a disciple.

Our youngest, Josiah, was playing the part of the soldier...the first on the scene and given the boring task of guarding the tomb of a dead man. Wearing soldier’s attire – complete with a Roman plumed helmet – his dad asked how he felt about being given such a seemingly unimportant task.

“Well….I have a paint brush on my head,” was Josiah's unexpected reply. What more could we expect at 7 AM?

As the “women” (Rebekah, Jessie & Ashely A.) slowly approached the tomb from the far corners, Nate swooped the two young angelic beings (Matthew & Andrew A.) onto the tomb scene. Nate told paint-brush boy to fall down as if dead – which Josiah did without reservation. Then, as the women drew near, the angels were instructed to say, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” After two or three promptings, the very shy little boys finally whispered their line, but without enthusiasm.

Thus, Nate's next prompting to the angels was stated like this, “Say, ‘He is risen’ loudly!”

Lacking the advantage of years of grammatical schooling, the five-year-old angel exclaimed, “He is raisen!” (Mind you, this "raisen" is not to be confused with a dried grape.)

The eight-year-old angel, very wise for his age, did exactly as he was told and said it word for word, “He is risen LOUDLY!”

Although the re-enactment may have varied quite a bit from the real occurrences of that first Easter morning, it was a beautiful reminder. Too often as we grow older, we become complacent and disinterested with the retelling of familiar stories – even such life-changing stories as the Resurrection. However, through the faith, enthusiasm and actions of a child, it can re-gain the freshness and excitement that it deserves.

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