“Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!”
In the days leading up to Ash Wednesday, my youngest child was debating “Should I give up pop for Lent, or not?” One day she would be convinced she could do it, the next she would throw her arms dramatically in the air and claim she could never go without pop for 40 days. Since I am an advocate for her to give up the sugary goodness forever due to the amount of money I give our dentist to work on her cavities, I encouraged her to do it. I kept reminding her, “It’s not forever. It’s just 40 days.” Finally, I bargained with her… ‘If you give up pop, I will give up french fries.” In her most awestruck voice, she looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Mom. You could never give up french fries.” I reminded her that I was indeed a strong woman, and that yes, I could give up french fries for Lent. So it began.
Every, single day she would find a way to remark in frustration about her lack of pop drinking abilities. “Why does dad have to keep pop in the fridge, it’s so tempting!” “How can we go out to eat and just have water?” “Everyone at the party was drinking pop. I had to carry my water bottle around.” One day after listening to her complaining, her brother asked, “Why do people give up stuff for Lent? It’s not like giving up pop compares to being beaten to death.” Since there is no arguing with that point, I simply said it was a way to remember Jesus. Every time she wants to drink pop, it’s a time to remember Jesus’ love for us and that he went through more hard things than we could ever imagine.
On Saturday, my daughter asked me if she could have a Dr. Pepper for Easter breakfast since she doesn’t drink coffee. I told her no. But I did stock the fridge with a case of pop that she enjoyed later in the afternoon. She also remarked that she would never be giving up anything for Lent again. “Next time I will just add something. I could have journaled. I could have memorized Bible verses. I could have written a book.” Yes she could have, but I think that this Lenten season will be one of those memories that will stick. “Remember that year I gave up pop for Lent?” And her first sip of bubbly soda might even have been a little flavor of what the disciples and women felt on Easter morning when they realized Jesus was alive.
Happy Easter! He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!
Dear Father, There is no way that we can understand what your Son went through. But we can remember. Help us to daily remember His sacrifice for us. Help us to daily remember your love for us. Help us to daily remember we are your children and that Jesus dying on the cross is meant for each one of us. Thank you for the cross. Amen.
Written by Julie Anderson