Sunday, April 4, 2010

easter happiness

image from:

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.

He is risen.  He lives!
Happiest of Easters to you.

I had an interesting conversation with a young man,
newly arrived from Ethiopia,
who helped me in the drugstore earlier this weekend.

He commented to his co-worker that he liked how in this country
Easter weekend lined up with the celebrations in his home country.
I was curious and asked where he was from.
He replied, from Ethiopia and I'm still learning English.
Then he wished me a happy Passover.
I wished him a happy Easter.

He then asked, What's the difference?
I replied that the Jewish people celebrate Passover,
and Christians celebrate Easter.
And he asked me why. 

Kind of a weird question given he had just wished me a good Passover,
but I figured he was still learning English and didn't question him further.

I briefly explained the story of Moses in the Old Testament,
who tried to convince Pharoah to free the children of Israel.
Pharoah refused, and as a result God sent curses upon the land.
The last curse was the angel of death passing through the land of Egypt
and taking the first born son in each family.
However, the first born sons of children of Israel were spared.
They heeded Moses, their prohet, who told them
to mark the doors of their homes with a symbol of their faith,
so that the angel of death would know to pass over their homes
and leave the eldest sons alone.

The young man listened intently, smiled, then said,
"I didn't know that before."
I then explained that here we greet
Christians with happy Easter
and Jews with happy Passover.

He asked me which I preferred,
and I said, "Happy Easter."
His smile grew, and he said so do I.
Then he wished me happy Easter.

As I left I heard him remark to his co-worker
that he loved learning new things here every day.
Me too.

As I wrote this experience, it struck me once again
how deeply symbolic the story of Passover is to the Easter story.
Christ, the first born son of God our father,
gaves his life and suffered for our sins. 
God releases us from the captivity of sin and death
through the suffering and death of his eldest son.
Similar to the release of the children of Israel,
we too must heed the prophets, and
mark our lives with a symbol of our faith,
namely a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

Beautiful and moving.
So, whether you celebrate Easter or Passover
may you feel his love and joy this day.


Angela said...

Lovely experience, thanks for sharing:) Happy Easter weekend as well!

Becky said...

Very nice story just like dad said. It's been fun teaching Lane and Brodee about the real reason of Easter. It's not the Easter Bunny. It because of what Christ did for each one of us. LOL