He Ain’t In There! He is Risen!

“He Ain’t In There!  I Need a Savior!”

Easter memories. What were yours? It is all about our Savior.  I wonder if Easter is different for those married to a pastor and those who are not. It is the day we are grateful to have a Savior who changes us, changes everything. .

Being raised as a pastor’s daughter, Easter is all about Jesus.  In fact, my mom refers to it as “Resurrection Sunday!”

Growing up, Easter was bigger than any day of the year, including Christmas.

Easter is what changes everything! Why? Because, “He Ain’t In There!” Our Savior is alive!

One particular memory I had was finally being able to wear my older cousin; Michelle’s perfectly white dress! See, my five cousins came to live with us and it had its perks.  I was given all the hand me downs from my beautiful, tall, skinny, blonde, blue eyed, graceful cousin. Even though I was a year younger, I seemed to be the size I am today compared to her.  Hey, it may have taken time and an actual fight but I could get into the jeans. One wrong move though and you could lose an eye by a button popping off.  Watch out.

For some reason, her clothes not only didn’t look the same on me, they also didn’t seem to last as long.

Such a Great Day!

My mom remembers the white dress I was waiting for very well. It was given to me just in time for Easter! Yep, Easter, people! My mom and I took time to be sure I was all set for Easter church service.  I had my black paten shoes, white tights and a white purse to go with this spotless, white dress. Yep, I was finally in the long coveted white dress that Michelle no longer needed. Such a great day!

In fact, it really was a great day! The Easter bunny brought baskets for 7 that year rather than just for my brother and I. Then we had a day full of Jesus, church, friends, family, food, Easter egg hunts, chocolate, and bunnies.

I remember running up to my mom after the kid’s service at church, still feeling absolutely wonderful in the white dress, to hear a little gasp come out. My mom said she couldn’t believe my cousin had this white dress for at least an entire year if not longer and it was spotless. I had worn it for a couple hours and it looked like we had mopped the kitchen floor with it. I had no idea, of course, because I was in the dress and I knew I looked good.

If you spend a minute with me, you will not use the word “graceful” to describe me.

My parents were first generation Christians who loved Jesus, our Savior, so they adopted many strict rules in regard to our faith. I reminded my mom of this recently when I asked why they were so strict on some things.  Even so, we celebrated Halloween, the “worst of worst” and she said, “You turned out fine and it seemed to make sense at the time.”

Fast forward to age 25, Todd and I had been married for 5 years and I had been a pastor’s wife the entire time. Easter was spent with just the two of us because Easter is the biggest Sunday of the year and that meant we would not be traveling to celebrate.   My parents were pastors of a church in Northern California about 6 hours away and Todd’s parents were an additional 10 hours from there on the coast of Oregon.

Well, 1995 is when our first baby was born and now Easter was even better! Todd and I never struggled with how to celebrate Easter because we know the freedom we have in our Savior. The Easter bunny was never a threat to our relationship or our reverence to Christ. Well, the Easter bunny came that first year and a few years later I realized my first born, Jantzen wasn’t having it. He started asking some very detailed questions about how the Easter bunny had gained entry into our home while we were sleeping. He did not like the idea of a “stranger” having access to our home, let alone his room. The Easter baskets were banned to outside on the porch.  He explained that if the Easter bunny had to have access to our home that he didn’t want one. Jantzen was sure to let his younger sister, Janell, know as soon as she understood.

Needless to say, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa, are “strangers” in our home and not allowed access.

Of course, I was devastated but I also understood his logic.  I’m not a quitter!   As a mom, this did not stop me! Easter baskets were placed in the acceptable places so “I” could enjoy the tradition. Kids these days!

Easter Baskets are placed in the allocated areas and these are the ones for 2018.

During the time of Easter, it is certainly understood that our most important focus as Christians is the resurrection of Christ. This beautiful picture of salvation should never be ignored and should be taught to everyone. However, I don’t think there’s any harm in talking to your kids about the Easter Bunny either! He does bring yumminess & chocolate! You may be saying, “That’s blasphemy!” Okay, but before you start thinking I’m sacrilegious, please hear me out.

Easter is the one Sunday of 52 Sundays that people are willing to attend a church service and hear about our Savior, God’s love. If you think about an Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs, what a great way to communicate the powerful truths of the message of Easter in a non-threatening missional way. Ummmm, it’s inspiring!

I need a Savior

I know that we all have our things that get to us and if this is that one thing for you, I apologize, it is clearly not mine.

You know why Easter is so important for me as a pastor’s wife? Because I need a Savior. I’m far from perfect and I am just as messed up as you are. Grace and mercy are my friends. I need Easter to help me live this Christian life that is a choice each and every day. Easter helps me approach my bubble of life humbly and surrendered to Christ. Reminds me to be grateful for our Savior.

I definitely understand that some of us may have mixed feelings when it comes to the Easter Bunny. I have even heard fear in some of your voices when I mention the Easter Bunny because some of the outfits can be creepy and scary. This harmless, chocolate delivering bunny has freaked out many of my friends, my age and I am certain it keeps them up at night.

Easter is the best day of celebration of the entire year

All that to say, Easter is the best day of celebration of the entire year and I’m not saying we should place our focus on the Easter Bunny over Christ or worship him.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with not acting like he doesn’t exist. Don’t forget, Some Bunny Loves You!

RCA Church Easter 2018 Mailer Invite from Ordinary Pastor’s Wife church where her husband, Todd, is the Lead Pastor. Kymberly Black shares this photo to go with her March 2018 blog, “He Ain’t In There!”

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