With Easter just ten days away, we struggled to write this column. How could we put into words God’s love and resurrecting power? And even more difficult, how could we communicate that truth to our children?

The first draft of this post evolved into a discussion about new beginnings, but it did not embody the true measure of redemption. The second draft highlighted hope and the promise of eternal life. After all, celebrating Jesus’ resurrection is about life ever after. But that, too, echoed shallow in our own words.

We thought about the meanings of what children see – the world’s symbols and how …

  • the eggshell represents the tomb from which Jesus emerged.
  • the egg/baby chick celebrates new life.
  • the lily = Jesus’ purity.
  • the rabbit = fertility = new birth.
  • the lamb = Jesus as the Lamb of God.
  • new clothes = set aside the old life and put on the new.
  • the butterfly, candles, pretzels … the list goes on …

But still, we were not satisfied.

Then, we had occasion to experience true redemption up close and personal – the all-consuming message of Easter: forgiveness. Someone wronged us and we could either be offended or forgive. After some thought, we chose to forgive. But it was not easy.

We learned that the God kind of forgiveness is not just for us to receive; it is also for us to give, so that forgiveness may also flow through us.

Forgiving those who have hurt us is not easy. But it can be done. And it begins with the conscious decision to set someone free from condemnation – to cover another’s sins with love.

Today we are forgiven. Let us also forgive those who have trespassed against us.  For it is then that we can celebrate a new beginning, cleansed, healed, delivered, and set free. Forgiving. Forgiven.

(An Easter Classic)