In Romania the Easter holiday follows the Julian calendar, which makes it arrive later than in the United States. This year Easter was celebrated a week later in Romania, but no matter which day you celebrate Easter, the main purpose is to acknowledge the sacrificial death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and his triumph over death when he arose on resurrection morning!
Just as we have traditions in the U.S. such as the Easter bunny and dyeing eggs, there are also similar traditions in Romania, including dyeing eggs, tapping eggs, and eating certain foods just to name a few. It is easy for people everywhere to get all wrapped up in the traditions and lose sight of what Easter is really all about. Our focus at Bread of Life is to introduce and reinforce the “real” meaning of Easter to the children. This is something we try to do all year long, but especially during this season. Although the children do have a small break from school and enjoy some of the traditions, this is not what Easter is all about.
Sometimes it is a battle to keep the focus of Easter on the risen Lord and not the traditions. The enemy fights to distract us from the true meaning, but at Bread of Life we celebrate Easter with joy through worship to our risen King! We teach the children about how Christ loved us so much that he willingly suffered, died and rose again to create a pathway for restoration to God the Father. Through Bible programs and songs prepared by our older children we celebrate the story. For some this year was their first year to participate in our programs and hear about what happened during those days so long ago.
As Gabi spoke with the children about the women who attended the tomb early that morning, the children were overjoyed to hear the beautiful news, “But the angel said to the women, Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:5-6 (ESV)
It was a blessed time to be reminded of how much Christ loves us, and that we have hope on this earth, even though we may face trials and difficult days. For many of our children, their lives were filled with pain and suffering and they continue to carry memories of the fear and desperation of their former lives. The good news of Christs’ resurrection brings them hope, and a knowledge that they have a friend they can turn to, someone who can and will turn bad times into good times when they choose to follow him. Please pray for us as we continue to share the Easter message, “He is not here, for he is risen“, with the children all through the year.