I love big holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or 4th of July it doesn’t matter. I love to open up our home and have as many of our friends and loved ones over as we can possibly fit. I love to make a big feast. I love decorating the house. But what I love best is standing back and watching those I care about talking, eating, laughing…..living. It is moments like these that I treasure.
My parents began the tradition of opening their home to anyone on the holidays when I was a young child. We lived away from all of our extended family. So my parents created a family for us through our church friends and anyone else in the community who wanted or needed a place to go on the holidays. They even started to announce it on our local Christian radio station. It was amazing. Some of our most treasured family friends were met through this. We didn’t have the fanciest house or nicest things but our house was overflowing with love and people were drawn to that….my father’s amazing cooking was a big draw too ;-) There are many great things I learned from my parents but one of the things I most important things that I want to emulate in my own home is their amazing ability to open their hearts and home to any and all people. This is especially true at Easter time.
As I said previously, I love all the holidays but Easter holds a special place in my heart. Easter is the celebration of Jesus amazing love for us. A love that is so boundless, so amazing that he made the ultimate sacrifice. God humbled himself and became man. He lived out every bit of the human experience in his 33 short years on earth and remained blameless and without sin. Then he took our sins upon himself and received our punishment. He was tortured mercilessly, killed in the cruelest fashion available (death on the cross was the most painful death, reserved for the worst criminals) and was buried in the tomb of someone else. Three days later he arose from the grave victorious, having defeated death!! It is this that we celebrate on Easter. We celebrate Jesus. We celebrate his life. We celebrate his amazing love for us. What better way to celebrate God’s love for us then to love those around us? What more fitting way to embrace what Christ has done for us than by willingly, joyfully serving those God places in our path?
I have been very blessed to have learned this by the example of my parents. It is my desire that my children will look back years down the road and understand the importance of truly loving people, loving people not just in word but in action. Our world today speeds by us, our crazy schedules dictating our lives instead of us dictating our schedules. So often in the midst of all the madness we lose sight of what is truly important, what is truly eternal. So many people are alone or hurting. So many individuals have need of just a glimpse of kindness, a glimpse of love. Happy Easter to you my friends. I pray that God will bless you with the opportunity to love on someone this week, this special Holy week.