Did your parents prepare Easter baskets for the children in your family? Mine did and I remember them well. Of course we were told they came from the "Easter Bunny"; but that myth was later dispelled and we knew they came from our parents.
By the time my younger sister and I were in grade school, I remember that there were always that fake green Easter basket "grass", some candy and usually new school/art supplies; such as a new box of colored pencils, a tin box of water color paints with brushes, coloring books and new crayons. Over those early school years the box of crayons got bigger and bigger, the water colors changed to oil paints and "paint-by-number" kits, etc.
After hunting for Easter eggs in the morning, by afternoon we were totally involved in creating "Works of art" and enjoying the "Newness" of our supplies. The points on the crayons were still nice and sharp; colored pencils were sharpened to a fine point; there was plenty of paint in each well of the water color tins. The coloring books featured some familiar theme or character we had seen in those early years of television or that mother had read to us about.
Now as a Pastor, I see a type of loose analogy between those Easter baskets and Easter itself. For through the Easter event God offers to each of us a "newness of life." The empty tomb could represent our old, largely used up or worn out ways of living which God now offers to replace through the death and resurrection of Jesus, "the Christ" ("Christ," being his title, not his last name, and meaning "Messiah" - God's anointed, at his baptism, chosen, Holy One.) For we Christians who accept him as our Lord and Savior, God our heavenly parent promises newness of life through His (God's) mercy and forgiveness. It is offered to all who choose to follow Jesus as their Lord. This newness of life of course far exceeds Easter Basket joys of long ago. I hope you experience that God given joy this Easter. HAPPY EASTER!!!
P.S. The First United Methodist Church of Gulfport will again host a community-wide Easter Sunrise Service at 7:00 am on Gulfport beach at the Recreation Center end. Last year over 170 people attended. ALL ARE WELCOME!