Seeing Easter through children’s eyes Print
Seeing with Jesus' Eyes
Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

Seeing Easter through children's eyes can open windows of wonder and love that we busy adults sometimes keep closed.

A mother experienced this when she overheard Danny, her five-year-old son, talk with his friend Jeremy whose father recently died.

"Where did your dad go when he died?" asked Danny.

"My mom said that he went to Heaven," replied Jeremy.

"What’s Heaven?" asked Danny.

Jeremy answered, "My Mom said that Heaven is a place where we go after we die. Everyone will be happy there. We will see Jesus and his mom, grandma and grandpa, your dad, and others we know. I can’t wait to go there!"

"Wow! Wow!" exclaimed Danny, "But how did your dad get to Heaven? His jeep is still here."

"I don't know!" replied Jeremy. "I'll ask mom. She knows everything!"

Gift of eternal life

In their young ways, Jeremy and Danny were struggling to understand the mystery of what happens after death. Later Jeremy's mom explained that on Easter, Christians celebrate Jesus' resurrection, which is the cornerstone of their faith. In First Corinthians 15:14, St. Paul wrote, "If Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith."

Christians believe that Christ earned the gift of eternal life for us by his death and resurrection. For those who believe in Christ’s resurrection and live their faith, life isn’t a dead end street without an exit but rather the door to eternal life.

Jesus taught us how to love by dying on the cross and offering us the gift of eternal life. He told us to love one another the way he loved us with Easter love.

Loving one another

On Easter morning a boy walked home through the park. He kept thinking about how the pastor said that Easter love happens when we love each another the way Christ loved us. When we give something to someone who is in need, we really give it to Jesus.

Then he noticed an old man slumped on a park bench. He looked lonely and hungry. The boy sat next to him, took from his pocket a chocolate bar he had been saving, and offered some chocolate to him.

He accepted with a smile. He liked his smile so much that, after he had eaten his piece of chocolate, he gave him more. Then they exchanged smiles and sat together in silence.

Finally the boy got up to leave. As he walked away, he turned, ran back to the bench, and gave the old man a hug and the man gave the boy his best smile.

When the boy arrived home, his mother saw his smile and asked, "What made you so happy today?" He said, "I shared my chocolate bar with Jesus and he has a great smile!"

Meanwhile the old man returned home smiling. "Why are you so happy" asked his wife? He replied, "Jesus shared a chocolate bar with me. He's much younger than I expected!"

Children need our love, but we also need their love. Perhaps their best gift to us is to call forth our love. In doing so, they remind us that, like Christmas, Easter is about love.

May we enjoy an Easter season of love!

Fr. Donald Lange is a pastor emeritus in the Diocese of Madison.