Monday, April 9, 2012

Why Their Baskets Were Empty

Did you know that "In South Asian culture, most widows are seen as a curse and shunned from society. Abandoned children face similar conditions and often have to fend for their own livelihood." That only a few dollars can "provide for these beloved women and children of God. They are given the chance to hear about the God who created them and loves them so much that He gave His life for them."

So on this Easter my kids baskets were empty just as the tomb was empty on that wonderful Easter morning. Easter is celebrating the risen Lord who overcame the sins of the entire world! Doesn't it seem like the whole world should hear! We are instructed to seek and save the lost people of the world, there are still so many who have never heard the blessed name of Jesus.  So, we celebrated Easter with  family, food,  resurrection rolls, and empty baskets. We worshiped the Lord in gladness at church with amazing music that penetrated the hardest of hearts. We served babies in the nursery and prayed over little ones whose parents were receiving the Good News!  Those empty baskets could have been filled with candy that my privileged children don't need, they could have  been filled with toys that will soon break or that will cause me to stress about all the "stuff" in our house.

Instead I felt so very convicted that the Lord had some different plans for Easter traditions.  Instead of items that "moth and rust" would destroy, we chose to donate funds to Gospel for Asia so that widows and orphans, in dire need, can hear the Good News that we are already so blessed to hear and know.  I love that 100% of our donation goes directly into the field - there is nothing taken out for "management or advertising."

I fear as a parent in America that I am raising narcissistic children. It was confirmed when they woke up on Easter and grumbled about empty baskets - forgetting the fun egg hunts the days before or the sweet notes they found in their eggs or our tomb and play-mobile knights or the Jesus storybook Bible we read or the eggs we dyed together. How do I convey to these 6 blue eyes that stare right through me;  that though the tomb was empty and their baskets are empty - the emptiness brought forth hope - redemption - purpose - promise of blessing for those who overcome just as Christ overcame death and a grave?

Striving to be counter cultural is not an easy job, it takes a lot more work to plan fun and meaningful times that demonstrate love and tradition without getting caught up in materialism. Some days I lack determination to act on my convictions. Other times I act and have to find rest in Jesus for the results because my children do not always bring praise and acclimates for counter cultural responses. So today I find great rest in my Risen Savior who brings  hope and salvation to not just the whole world - but also my little home in Texas.

Melissa

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