Easter Weekend (so far)

Last night Linea and I led our annual Maundy Thursday service at the church.  It was quite an intimate affair this year, with only 11 people in attendance.  We left the service in silence as a symbol of the continuity between it and the Good Friday service.

Of course, most people won’t stay silent for the rest of the evening.  Dixie went off to Sobeys to get some groceries, while I ordered pizza from the church for her to pick up on the way home.  I went to Futureshop and purchased the new Tragically Hip album on a whim (along with another one on sale).  Almost bought the new Neil Young album as well, along with a couple of remasted early U2 CDs, but resisted both.

As I sat in my car, idling in the parking lot, and opened the new CD (I always open and listen immediately) I made a momentary connection with Jesus’ disciples, who scattered after he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.  A group of us Jesus-followers had just gathered to commemorate the Last Supper and the new command to love each other and then we scattered into the world, back to our normal lives of TV and eating and drinking and shopping.  It seemed for a moment like such an incongruity to go just go on about our business as usual after that service.  But, I thought, tomorrow we collect ourselves again at the Good Friday service.

In the mean time, Dixie and I had our long put-off Thursday evening date: pizza, junk food, a couch, and two hours of NBC sitcoms.  Yes, incongruous.

My intention was for at least one of us to go to a Good Friday service (I hadn’t looked into whether there were any children’s programs at the multiple services in town).  It seemed like I would be going to St. George’s Anglican (my biannual tradition, it seems) for their service, but a miscommunication turned into an at-home Good Friday service with the kids.  At first I was bothered by this, because I foresaw a “service” with the kids as a futile endeavour, doomed to failure.  And I was right, to a degree–there is only so much that a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old in particular will pay attention to.  Plus, all the kids were cranky and whiny and disobedient most of the day.

That said, historically the kids have not participated in any sort of Good Friday anything, so it was a good thing to tell them the story again and provide a little context for the weekend.

We showed them an Easter video, then went to the dining room where they coloured some Easter-related pictures (we have tried desperately to avoid the bunnies and chocolate theme over the weekend–we did a chocolate egg hunt earlier in the week to get that out of the way).  I then told them the story of Jesus and his disciples in the garden, Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion (using this).  

This was followed by the kids singing along to the Veggietales Easter album.  Here’s Madeline reading (!) the lyrics and singing along (although I’m pretty sure she knew most of the words already, but she loves reading, she says):

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And here’s Luke colouring:

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And here’s Olivia putting marker lids on her fingers:

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Then one further craft: three crosses made out of popsicle sticks, which we intend to put up somewhere in the yard.  I added the “This is the king of the Jews” sign to one of the crosses and Luke insisted that one of the crosses should have a sign with his name on it:

Three crosses

The morning reached a crescendo some time after this, when the two younger children were screaming at the tops of their lungs in anger over something , while Bob and Larry sang “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth” in the background.  It was kind of funny.

More pictures here.

And for lunch: poffertjes! Here’s a photo set of the preparation and consumption of poffertjes. They’re kind of like pancakes, but not. It was a tradition to have them for supper on my birthday. This was my first time making them myself.  Here’s the end product:

The end product

After lunch: naps, homework, relax.  Tonight: a game with Dixie maybe and sermon preparation.

12 thoughts on “Easter Weekend (so far)

  1. Marc Post author

    Madeline really likes it. It’s got pictures and questions and activities. I used it when I taught Sunday School to the kids. It’s rudimentary text, but it’s not all “market-y” and flashy like some children’s Bibles out there.

  2. Chris Hiebert

    Poffertjes! I love(d) poffertjes. And the only reason I know I do(did) was because of your birthday parties. I have longed for them ever since (19 years or so). I went to DeDutch in Kelowna a few years ago in hopes that this fine breakfast establishment would serve them. Alas, they did not. I sought out the owner for an explanation and he said that poffertjes are something like a street food that vendors sell and not classy enough for a restaurant like his. That would be like buying corn dogs at Moxies or something. This may not be true, you may be able to speak to that. But all I can say is: “where do you get the poffertjes pan?” (please don’t say “mom got it in Holland”) I gotta get me one of those.

  3. Marc Post author

    Ah, Chris! You were one of the lucky ones, weren’t you?

    I was going to say exactly what you don’t want me to say about the pan, but then I though mom had ordered it through some Dutch newspaper she reads. Or maybe you could buy one in Vancouver.

    The real question is, how do I get my hands on another box of the poffertjes mix?

  4. mam V.

    Good for you Marc, they look perfect. Did you use real butter and icing sugar on it?
    Poor Chris, maybe I should invite him over one day to have poffertjes. Marc the poffertjes pan you have was bought in Holland, actually my mam gave me hers and I bought a second one because I went faster when we had more kids over. I know an address in New Westminster where they sell them but they are quite pricy.
    Wish you a very blessed Easter.
    He is risen, he is risen indeed.

  5. Phil L

    We went to the Good Friday service at St. Pauls Presbyterian. Pastor Daniel from the Free Methodist church spoke about blood. I kept waiting for one of my kids to faint. I thought it was a good service – very reflective. We’ll celebrate on Sunday.

    I enjoyed the description and pics of your home service with the kids. I take it that you didn’t show them Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.
    🙂

  6. becky

    Hi Marc,

    I want to make this comment, but I also want to attach a disclaimer to it — I’m not looking to pick a theological fight here (promise!).

    I was little taken aback by your kids’ popsicle-stick capital punishment crafts (aka crosses), particularly when one of them had your son’s name on it! (I know he probably insisted on having it there — but don’t you too find it disturbing, on some level, to see your son’s name over a cross?)

    Maybe my reaction stems from the fact that I’m no longer a Christian, and have a little distance from what the crosses theologically represent. But when you think about what the literal purpose of the crosses were (horrific death) — I find it creepy to then have my kid make a craft out of it.

    It makes me wonder: What other individuals’ deaths do people commemorate by celebrating the device of torture that was used to end life? If Jesus was hung instead of crucified, would you then make crafty nooses with the kids? If he was killed by lethal injection, would Christians wear syringes around their necks? Yeah (*note spelling), it seems absurd what I’m saying here, but the point is valid. Over the past thousands of years, the cross has been sanitized as a metaphor — but that shouldn’t take away from what it actually was, a device of torturous death.

    Is this me being too literal? Too sensitive? How should someone — both in the faith or outside it — respond to when seeing this?

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  8. Marc

    Hi Becky,

    Not an unreasonable question, although I wasn’t prepared for it. I’ll give you my off-the-cuff answer–not well thought through and stuff you probably already know.

    I hadn’t really thought about the potential implications when we did the craft. It was a craft suggestion at the end of the crucifixion passage in the Bible I link to in the post. The kids were cranky, I was a little cranky, and I knew where things would go if I didn’t fulfill Luke’s request, and I *really* didn’t feel like dealing with that at the time (initially I had said, “No”).

    We did explain the basics of what happened in a crucifixion, but without too many gory details–with Luke and Olivia it would have gone in one ear out the other.

    Having said all that, the notion of what we did for this craft perhaps isn’t as unusual as it might seem–at least for someone in the faith. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I am crucified with Christ…”, so the symbolism of putting Luke’s name on the cross (even though he didn’t understand what he was asking for) isn’t unscriptural.

    Paul also said that he vowed to know nothing but Christ crucified. Did he say these things morosely, or perhaps with disturbing relish? I don’t think so–he said them with hope. The cross has become a symbol of hope for Christians–and it was from the beginning. I don’t think this is “sanitizing” it (I hear the dark details of crucifixion quite regularly in sermons and Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday are traditionally times of reflection on the death of Christ). Rather than sanitizing, it’s the recognition that things didn’t end with the cross. Because we’re not just talking about “a” cross, we’re talking about “the” cross–the cross of Christ. And, of course, Easter Sunday is the celebration of Christ making his way through death and coming out the other side.

    This doesn’t take away the horribleness of crucifixion, but it recognizes that it wasn’t the end of the story.

    That’s what I’ve come up with in immediate response (I wanted to comment before someone else chimed in). It’s an answer, though it may not be satisfying)

  9. becky

    Marc, I appreciate your answer, and yes, I am familiar with much of the theology you invoked. I figured that the only way a believer could respond to my reaction is to point past the cross toward the resurrection — but I guess it’s still the blood obsession of the crucifixion and cross that is bothersome to me. (for example, compare the box office ticket sales of The Passion to other film renditions of the gospel story, and you’ll soon see which Jesus the church wants on the big screen)

    I’m still wondering about some of my other questions that weren’t necessarily addressed by your answer — for example, if Christ died via electric chair, would Christians then proclaim that “I am electrocuted with Christ?”

    I understand the place of resurrection theology, but then again you don’t see many people wearing empty tomb necklaces around their necks (or making them out of popsicle sticks).

    Anyway, I’m not looking for a debate (I know you’re not either), but your post got me thinking — and that’s a good thing!

    Happy Easter.

  10. Marc Post author

    I suppose perhaps, yes, we might say “I am electrocuted with Christ”. It doesn’t sound nearly as “poetic” (too current maybe?), but it would mean the same thing, had the incarnation occurred in our day (although one might argue that Jesus would not have been executed in our day).

    And, no, you don’t see people wearing empty tomb necklaces (although I’m sure in Sunday school classes around the world on Easter Sunday, kids will be doing crafts of the empty tomb–perhaps not out of popsicle sticks, but drawing, maybe even papier mache).

    I’ve wondered about this kind of thing myself–if we’re too cross fixated and not resurrection fixated enough. It seems at the very least that the two MUST go together. And more than that, without the resurrection, the cross might just be meaningless.

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