Happy Easter!April 13
One of my favorite things about Easter is the fanfare and the production that comes with Easter Sunday services. The pageantry and the “best foot forwardness” are really enjoyable. But my favorite, by far, is seeing the kids dressed in their Easter best. The bright colored dresses and the uncomfortable shoes, curled hair, and handbags for girls. The boys, who just 24 hours earlier had frogs in their pockets, are now suited out in white pants and vests with clip on ties. Their hair, each one combed over into a helmet with the aid of product and paste, making it pose in a way it has never naturally grown. Seeing this parade of pageantry is worth getting to church early. Never will children be more at their best as when their parents proudly present them at the beginning of the service.
Unfortunately most Easter services last a minimum of one hour. The recessional after the service is not typically as stellar as the processional just minutes before. Now the curls have straightened, the helmets look more like a fourth quarter memory, the hand bags have become a tool, and the tie – wouldn’t you know, they can be clipped on things other than your shirt (like your nose or your previously talked about sister’s face). In the end we are not perfect; we more naturally resemble the chaos than we do the perfectly posed family picture in a magazine.
During this recessional is when the family Easter portrait should be taken. This is the glory of the Easter message. This is closer to the gospel than the earlier procession. What we know through scripture is that the most fertile ground for the Gospel message is the times and places of deep pain and struggle. It is in chaos and confusion, strain and stress, that Christ calms the waves and speaks to the hearts of those who will listen. The resurrection of Christ is so much sweeter when I realize it was to give life to a wretch like me. Christ died for me when my shirt tail was half tucked, shoes were untied and my hair was a mess – not when I was pretending to be at my best. This is the Glory of Easter: God made a way through His effort and love to save me, a messy child in need. The empty tomb has more power and is more illuminating when it is seen in the shadow of the struggle of the cross. Resurrection’s power comes from overcoming death. That we get to participate is overwhelming.
As we consider Easter week, we can draw parallels with the work at Amarillo Children’s Home. Our mission is to “Restore the identity of kids so that they can realize their great value and become a blessing to others.” The life, death, and resurrection of Christ speak deeply to the focus of restoring the identity of kids. Many of our kids fall in love with the Gospel while they are living with us. Being misunderstood, experiencing loss, and coming back to life is a genuine part of their life journey. They find comfort in the life of Jesus. Aren’t we fortunate to have a God that knows our struggle so well? And best of all – we get to participate in both the struggle and the transformation!
Darrin Murphy, President
Amarillo Children’s Home