Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Money Egg Hunts

Easter always brought out my competitive streak. The entire church would take the children over to Joanne Caldwell’s house for the Granddaddy of all Easter egg hunts. She would section the yard off according to age groups, and they would set us lose. Bowties, smocked dresses, and Easter baskets would fly into the spring air as we soared out on our quest. We had one purpose that day, finding the prize egg.

Mrs. Joanne hid the egg in different places each year. However, I tried to keep a mental list going year to year. She was destined never to repeat herself. One year, I looked up into the nook of a tree in the backyard and saw the prize egg shining back at me. After cashing it in for the chocolate bunny, I could sit back, relax, and bask in my victory.

Once I entered middle school, the Easter egg hunting days seemed to end, until the day my parents began to watch “Survivor.” My mother, who is a creative holiday genius, decided to create the annual Ingle Ultimate Reward Challenge. We finished Easter dinner, and she called my family into the yard. Each person was given a basket containing an envelope. The directions in the envelope led us from one clue to the next. Each destination held four eggs and one more clue. Mom specified that we were each to select one egg when we found a basket. After successfully rolling our eyes and handing the baskets back to her, my brother and I headed back inside. We are all adults now? Why would we have an egg hunt? Mom stopped us with the simple words, “Some of the eggs have money inside. In fact, I put a few $20s out there.”

We turned, picked up our baskets, and raced to the first stop. Grandma, however, predicted Mom’s big surprise and had already snatched her first egg. Even though at 27 years of age I was the youngest participant, my mother found a way to get us all in the game. The money egg hunt still happens. Somehow, Grandma still keeps finding all of the $20s.

How much does it take to get us in the game?

As a follower of Christ, I confess that He really did die on a cross for my sins. After three days, He arose from the grave. That means that Christians really believe that two thousand years ago, someone did not create a brilliant story to appease the masses. God actually took on flesh, walked among humanity, showed them a higher way, died on a cross, and then conquered death on a day now called Easter.

What are the consequences in our lives of Easter? Tony Compolo describes the reality of the eternal by saying, “in the spiritual connectedness, I sense Jesus taking all of my sin away from me. . . This love that fills my soul is an expansive dynamic energy that at times constrains me to give it away to others.” The reality of Easter should be evidenced by the eternal demonstrated in our lives.

The power of the Easter account moves me. Mark 16: 6-7 reads, "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "

Our Jesus has risen! It is the truth of our lives. Today, let your life reflect Him. If He is alive, then we are alive as well.


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