It’s been a really special Easter for Sophie this year.
We were determined to make Easter at the very least as memorable as Christmas for her and my wife put in some sterling work to make that happen.
Here’s how it turned out…
First up the nightly egg hunt. These splittable eggs, complete with Bible verse inside, had been used in the last two years but Sophie hadn’t really got it.
This year was a different story. Each night, she’d have to find an egg, open it for a bit of a chocolate and verse before an object such as a leaf (Palm Sunday), red cloth (blood) or cup and saucer (Last Supper) was also found to help tell the story. Sophie really enjoyed it.
We read the Easter story with her every night and, even though these books are always on her shelf, somehow she invested in them more determinedly this year and was soon able to retell them confidently.
The objects were a hit too and even by the last day she could rattle off the different items she had received each day and their meaning.
On Good Friday after church, we went into the park to gather foliage for a “Resurrection Easter garden” which Sophie made later that afternoon.
This featured a tomb with a heavy stone in front of the door and a Duplo character (representing Jesus) tucked away inside because “he had died on the cross”. Sophie showed this off proudly and pointed out that by Sunday, Jesus would be alive.
(Different from the disciples then who certainly didn’t believe Jesus when he said he would rise on the third day!).
When Easter Sunday rolled round, Sophie’s enthusiasm did not dissipate. Indeed, it only rose – excuse the pun – as she ran downstairs to find the stone rolled away from the door of the tomb and Jesus missing.
In what will be the closest we’ll get to the excitement of those first women to visit Jesus’ grave on that first Easter, Sophie ran to the bottom of the stairs; “Mummy, Mummy!” she yelled. “Come and see! The tomb is empty! Jesus is alive!”
That moment will live with me for a long time. So special. So precious. How one so small could grasp the simple truth of Easter and be so excited about communicating it. Priceless.
Sure, she enjoyed the lovely Easter egg hunts she did. She also had a fabulous time with family and friends who lavished her with love, attention and copious amounts of chocolate across the Easter weekend – she is one lucky girl.
But, her infectious love for the Easter story is one I really hope will continue.
As for Harry? He sat there and sucked his thumb. Maybe next year.