Did you know that the easter basket actually have pagan roots. During the spring equinox, a time when day and night are of equal length, farmers prayed to various gods for fertile fields. To celebrate the season,Middle Eastern cultures, Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians, and Babylonians, had a spring tradition of celebrating the first seedlings of their new crops. Farmers would bring the seedlings in baskets to temples for a blessing and pray to their gods for continued blessing of their crops.
The use of Easter baskets as we know them today developed out of the celebration of the Lenten season. During Lent, which takes place the 40 days before Easter, many Christians abstain from certain foods or treats until Easter comes. This abstinence of food or treats is designed to mirror the life of Jesus and His choice to abstain from sin and temptation while on earth. The lenten season is traditionally ended with a Lenten fest and this Easter feast was brought in large baskets to church to be blessed by priests. These baskets were brought much the same way as ancient cultures brought their first seedlings to be blessed in temples.
With Easter just around the corner Jon and I debated whether or not to do Easter baskets. They were something we did as kids and it is a fun tradition but we don’t want to overshadow the magnitude of easter with a silly basket. Jon and I fully believe in the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and we hope and pray our children will one day also choose to follow Jesus with their life. We don’t want the basket to be the highlight of Easter when we are celebrating something far more important and life giving, so after some conversation we decided to do an easter basket. We decided to do the Easter basket in hope of creating a tangible visualization on what Jesus has done for us.
We are undeserving of the sacrifice of Jesus, we are undeserving of his love and we are undeserving of the salvation we can receive thought Him. Yet because of God love for us He has given us access to life thought Christ, it is a free gift. God’s great love for His people prompted Him to send his own son to pay the price for our sins. Jesus lived a perfect life and yet died for sins He did not commit, he was buried and rose again defeating death and providing a way for us to have access to God the father. This act of love allows access for all those who believe, we don’t have to earn it, it is freely given. What a grace, what a blessing! This is the gift we hope to illustrate to Teddy and any future kids we might have with their easter baskets. We want our kids to see that this is a gift that is unwarranted, it does not come with mandates or strings attached, it is simply an I love you gift. It is a gift in many respects they don’t deserve, something they has not earned or can earn. Just like the cross was for us, the cross is the greatest statement of love ever made, it is a gift of love that we can’t earn but can be fully received in faith.
We hope this little basket can leave an impact and give a bigger more powerful picture of the cross. Even now when Teddy is so young we want to point him to Jesus, not only on Easter but everyday, so that one day he will choose Jesus. But what an easy and fun way to share the love of Jesus, to give a gift, just like we were given a gift. With all that said we wanted the basket itself to be symbolic we wanted the contents to be useful and also Teddy is not even one so not like we are going to give him candy. Therefore, we went with a summer theme, we pick this them not only because it is easy and fun but because it is something we can continue for years to come and hopefully help the illustration of love that much stronger. So we got all the essentials for summer from swimsuits to sunglasses, pool accessories, bubbles and a little pool snack, because he is his father's child and LOVES food. Then as a true mom of a happy spitter we picked up a set of bibs. :)
Again our prayer over this basket is that Teddy will even know and as he grows see the basket as a gift of love and that our love for him stems from God’s love for us and that Teddy will choose Jesus. This is our goal as parents, to daily show Teddy God’s love and Easter is such a great time to reflect on that and be reminded of the gift of salvation through Jesus’ work on the cross. So our little basket will be prayed over even before it got into our sweet boys hands because as much as I want Teddy to love me, I want him to love Jesus more.