The Reason to Gather – Matt Forte
By: Matt Forte
May 9, 2017
Growing up, my family’s Easter tradition always included a trip down to Lake Charles, Louisiana where all our relatives would gather at my grandfather’s house for a big crawfish boil. This is a tradition we continue with our kids today.
For the past 15 years, my dad has been the designated crawfish cook because, even though he’s originally from Texas, he learned how to boil crawfish to perfection when he went to school in Louisiana. No one’s recipe is better. I already know that eventually, I will have to get this recipe to carry on his legacy.
This Easter was no different—it’s a time for all our cousins, aunts, and uncles to come together and celebrate. At the crawfish boil we see family that we probably hadn’t seen since the last Easter.
It all starts on Good Friday. Since the cooking takes some time, the kids spend the day running around outside, excited to see all the chickens, goats, and cows in my uncle’s yard. Following Friday’s feast, we put on an Easter egg hunt for all the kids on Saturday before everyone has to travel home.
Easter is really important for my family to celebrate. It’s not just about the crawfish boil, a fun Easter egg hunt, or the bunny, it’s about so much more. We want our kids to know that we are engaging in these festivities not just out of habit but because we are remembering that Jesus saved us from the depths of our sin; we’re rejoicing in what Christ has done for us on the Cross. Even though our kids are still young enough that they’re unable to comprehend the full meaning of all this yet, we want to plant these seeds early.
Danielle and I try to put our feet in our kids’ shoes so that we can introduce Christ to them in the best way possible. We try to teach them regularly, through everyday circumstances, by letting them know that God loves it when they behave well, but when they are getting in trouble for disobeying, God is not pleased. The bad things that we do are called sin and this is what keeps us from a relationship with God. If we love God, believe that He saved us from the bad things that we’ve done, and try to do good things in obedience to Him, we can live with Him forever in Heaven.
Along with the help of children’s books that focus on the meaning of holidays like Easter and Christmas, we try to explain in the clearest way possible that God came down in human form to be Jesus. Easter is important because of what Jesus went through on the cross in order to save us from ourselves. This is why we celebrate Easter every year. Together we remember our Savior and find joy in who He is and what He’s done for us. But this is something that doesn’t end with Easter weekend, we need to continue to remember these truths throughout the year.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time.” —1 Corinthians 15:3-6
Matt Forte is a regular contributor of The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Matt’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/matt-forte/
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