Sunday, April 20, 2014

What is Easter?

When I was a little girl Sunday School was a mandatory part of my parents "custody" agreement,(weather it was written down on paper or not). 

Every Sunday, just like clock work, we had to get up early and get dressed, no matter where we were(me, my brother and step-sister), and get ready for the Sunday shuffle. 

We'd get crammed into the back seat of my dad's car and off we would go to the big Presbyterian church in town. Once he knew we were inside, he and my step-mom would blaze away to some other destination, it was never to church. 

It was a weekly ritual that my brother and me and my step-sister got used to, and I actually looked forward to it. Some of the same kids that were in Sunday School class were in my regular school class and it was nice to know there was someone in regular school who knew what I knew about Jesus. 

We learned a lot there; and we goofed off a lot there too, but we all were well educated in the ways of the Gospel. 

I was a quiet kid and I took in a lot at Sunday School. I got in trouble sometimes,  but I was mostly a good student, and it is this one thing I have to admit, something that has stayed with me my whole entire life; Sunday School is where I fell in love with Jesus; and He has been my hero ever since.

As a little girl who's parent's were divorcing, I found a quiet calm and peace in Jesus, because I learned in Sunday School that Jesus was always with me, no matter where I was, so I talked to him a lot when I went to bed and heard my mom and step-dad fighting.

In Sunday School there was always a quiet calm in the room we met in, and hanging off the wall was a picture of Him that seemed to produce an intense feeling of love and acceptance, and for that matter, the same feeling was felt from anyone who walked in that room.

It was the picture of Him sitting in a beautiful meadow, with children gathering around Him. He had a beautiful smile on his face and his eyes glowed kindness and peace, and his arms are open and outstretched, encouraging the children to come and just sit with Him. He is dressed in a white gown with a red robe over top of it,  and his hair is flowing around his shoulders and gently laying on his back and chest as he waits for them to come and to sit and to share in His abundant love.

I remember one Easter in particular and my Sunday School class was having a contest to see who could name certain events in Jesus life and some holidays. 

The examples were Christmas, which would have signified his birth. Good Friday, which would have been the day he was Crucified, and the calming of the sea, when he and the disciples were crossing over the Sea of Galilee and he was asleep in the back of the boat. We were asked to tell the class what he said to them when he woke up; And then it went onto the very best, my number one favorite anyway, Easter. 

I remember the teacher asking,"does anyone know what Easter is, anyone?"

I knew, I knew because I knew that Jesus had died on the Cross for me and he rose in three days to go be with His father.

I knew, and from the looks on everyone else's faces, they DID NOT, so I blurted it out before anyone else could ... "It was the day Jesus rose from the dead to go to Heaven," I said.

"You are right, Amy," I heard the teacher say and I was rewarded with that great feeling of really knowing something no one else knew. Or if they did know, the events didn't match up with the name of the holiday.

My sister made fun of me and so did some of the other kids. "How did you know that, you must have cheated," they kept saying to me. But I really didn't care much. I got it right and Jesus was happy, and so was I, so what else mattered?

Thinking back I remember just ignoring them. I figure this was one lesson they would never forget.

Since that day in Sunday School the death and Resurrection of Jesus had turned my life around completely. 

It is a guarantee that He lives in me and I in Him and we are ONE and no one can take that away.

Learning that he loves me with an unfathomable love ... there are no words. I only know that the picture hanging in that Sunday School room painted a picture of an unassuming man with a Love so deep, and high and wide and long there is no way for me to escape it, and why would I want to?

(Ephesians 3:17-19 So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God)

I don't go to Sunday School anymore but because of those years I did spend there, I know I have the awesome Truth of Jesus in my heart and in my life. 

Because HE has risen - so will I one day. And to be with my Hero, my first Love, Jesus makes this holiday shine above all others.

Happy Resurrection day. My the words of the Scripture in Ephesians 3:17-19 make you curious to explore his deep and everlasting Love; and create in you a deep desire to really Know His Love.