So it's Good Friday for the Christian world.
I've never known what to DO on Good Friday. I think Beck described it best. Do you wish someone a Happy Good Friday? Wouldn't that be missing the point? It seems a day for quiet reflection, for repentance and mediation, for study and prayer. Unfortunately it's also the first day of a long weekend and I'm the mother of 3 small children, so it's tricky to find all that. Also, as a mother of 3 small children, I want THEM to know why today is a holiday: where it fits in the Easter celebration and what it means for them. It's a daunting task.
The Princess struggles with what is real and what isn't. She's working hard to figure out what exists and what is pretend. (Unlike the younger two, for whom EVERYTHING is real!) Just about every story we read, every movie we watch, every news snippet on tv, the question arises "Is that true in Real Life?". We're trying to help her sort it out. No, that movie is pretend. Yes, ballroom dancing (and those bee-u-ti-ful dresses) is real and you can try it when you're older. No, you don't have a fairy godmother. Yes, Jesus lives (and you'll probably have better luck asking him for help than your fairy godmother). It's all pretty murky for her though and she's not always willing to take our word for it. She chooses to believe in things we've told her are pretend and not believe in things we've told her are true. Isn't that the beauty of childhood?
In navigating this tricky thing called faith though, she has another strike against her--her limited understanding of time. She's blown away when we remind her that we weren't actually present at Jesus' birth OR death. It seems she has memories of both (and who am I to truly say she doesn't?) and tells us about them sometimes. She asks constantly about when Jesus will come to visit. She sometimes seems to think he lives down the street and will show up any day now. She's trying to have patience, but she's really getting tired of waiting.
Whatever her fledgling faith, for her Jesus IS real, as is her distress when we tell her that he suffered and died for us. She's young, she has little experience with sin or grief. She doesn't yet feel a personal need for a Saviour. For her, bad guys killed her friend. Why are we celebrating that again?
Tonight we read the account of the Crucifixion in our New Testament Stories and talked about what happened, why, and what it means. I'm not sure anyone was comforted, though I did try to keep it at their level and skim over the violence of it all (we don't need the nightmares).
So here's the question for next year: How do you observe (because celebrate just seems wrong) Good Friday in your home? If you have small children, how do you explain it to them? Or do you?
You'll see from my previous post that my solution to the day was to spend a great deal of it scrapbooking (what can I say, it comforts me). My dh did some reading and meditating, but also some movie watching and gaming. The kids knew it wasn't Saturday and that we were all home for a reason, but their day progressed much like any other in all other respects.
I apologize for the heavy post. Let me make it up to you: head on over to Melanie's for the best ever edition of Fashion Friday. It's short, it's sweet, it's topical.
And Happy Easter.