Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Easter Story

For Easter a cousin asked me to write a story for her Primary. It's not an original idea but I think it turned out well and could be used for FHE.

What do you think?

Luke’s Easter Hunt

By Christine Thackeray

The school bell rang, and Luke grabbed his backpack and headed outside to catch up with his friends Thomas and DJ. The three boys always walked home together. They were all excited because Easter was coming.
“Are you going to be at the Easter Egg hunt at the park on Saturday?” Luke asked.
“I am.” DJ answered with a grin. “Last year I got so many eggs that I couldn’t fit them all in my basket. I got more candy than I did at Halloween!”
Thomas shook his head. “Our family goes to visit my Grandma and Grandpa. We have our own egg hunt with all of our cousins. Most of the eggs have candy in them, but Grandpa always puts money in a couple. There’s even one that has a hundred dollar bill in it.”
“Wow!” Luke laughed as they rounded the corner of their street. The boys raced to their doors and waved good-bye to each other. Luke walked into his kitchen to find the table covered with plastic Easter Eggs and bags of candy.
“I’m so glad you’re home!” His mother ripped open a bag of jelly beans. “You can help me finish getting our eggs ready for the Easter Egg hunt tomorrow. I promised I’d bring four dozen.”
“Sure.” Luke threw his backpack in the corner and pulled up a chair. As he pried apart the two halves of the bright orange egg in his hand, he began to wonder something. “Mom, what do Easter egg hunts have to do with Easter? I thought Easter was when we celebrated Jesus being resurrected.”
“You’re right. Good Friday is to commemorate the day Christ gave his life, and Easter Sunday is the day we celebrate Jesus rising from the tomb. Remember, we learned all about it last week during Family Home Evening.”
“Yes,” he said. “We talked about the last supper, Jesus washing the disciple’s feet, and the garden of Gethsame. But we don’t really celebrate any of those things, do we?”
His mom put down the fake grass she was holding. “It is funny how so much of what we do on this holiday isn’t directly about Jesus, but many things around us are symbols that stand for the idea of his atonement.”
“I don’t understand.” Luke clicked the filled egg he was working on shut and looked at his mother.
She held a soft pink egg in her hand. “For example the eggs we fill are like little gifts. Just like the gift Christ gave us on Easter. Can you think of a symbol that helps you remember the real meaning of Easter?”
“My Primary teacher told me that the sacrament was a symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection.” Luke smiled.
“It is.” His mother nodded. “And it all started with the Last Supper. That was the first time the sacrament was ever given, and it was administered by Christ himself.”
“I’ve got an idea.” Luke took the last package of unopened shells. “What if I go on an Easter Hunt? I’ll look all around for symbols of Easter and see what I can find.”
“That’s a great idea,” said his mother. “You can put what you find in those eggs and when we have our family celebration Easter Morning, you can tell the family what you found. I think you have your first egg filled already.”
“Yup. I’ll put a sacrament cup in it.” Luke said.
Luke’s little sister burst through the door. “I’m home!” She called.
“I can’t believe the time.” His mother said. “Luke, I’ll clean up this mess. Why don’t you go wash your hands then you can help me with dinner?”
He hopped up from the table and walked to the bathroom. As the water poured in the sink, Luke remembered that right after the Last Supper, Christ had washed the disciples feet. He turned off the water and dried his hands, wondering if Jesus knew that would be the last time he was with them. Smiling, he ran into the kitchen and got a piece of paper towel. His second symbol of Easter.

After dinner Luke went outside to play kickball with his sister and Dad. He stood over the smashed shoebox lid that served as home plate. His dad rolled the ball his direction. Luke kicked it as hard as he could, and it sailed over his sister’s head and out into the lawn. He dashed to the tree and touched it and then turned and headed for the old shoe that was second base, but the grass was wet and he slid to the ground, landing solidly on his elbow.
“Are you okay?” his dad ran to his side.
Luke swallowed and held up his injured arm. The skin on his elbow was torn and bleeding. “It stings a lot.” He said through gritted teeth.
Dad led him into the house where he put some ointment and a bandaid on the wound. Luke watched and thought about how much it hurt to spill a little blood. At Family Home Evening his dad had said Christ had bled from every pore. “Hey, Dad? Can I have another bandaid?”
“Sure, what for?” his father handed him one and closed up the first aid kit.
“It’s a surprise.” Luke grinned and put it in his pocket.
As he was getting ready for bed, Luke reached in his pocket and noticed some coins there. He ran down the hall to his parent’s room.
“Mom,” Luke said, “I had thirty cents left over from lunch, do you want me to put it on your dresser?”
Luke’s mom looked up from the book she was reading. “It’s not very much, so why don’t you keep it? You’ve been such a big help today.”
He smiled and turned to leave the room when he stopped. “Hey, Mom, how much money did Judas get for betraying the Savior?”
“It was thirty pieces of silver.”
Luke wrapped his fist tightly around the quarter and nickel, knowing what he would put in his fourth egg.
The next morning Luke asked his dad to tell him more about the Easter story. His father told him about Christ being bound and judged. They put a crown of thorns on his head and nailed him to a cross. Luke found a piece of string on the carpet and put it in his pocket. Outside he got a thorn from one of the rose bushes and found a nail in the garage.
When he came back in the house, he found his mom and sister getting ready to color eggs. They had the cooked white eggs all ready and his mom had vinegar and dye on the table.
“Wasn’t there something about vinegar in the Easter story?” Luke held up the bottle.
“Yes. It’s very sad.” His mother looked down. “When Christ was on the cross he asked for water. He was given vinegar instead, but he refused it. They pierced his side with a spear and he died.”
“That is sad.” Luke’s sister said softly.
“His friends took his body to a tomb but because it was almost they Sabbath, they didn’t have time to prepare it for burial so they simply covered his body with a white cloth.” His mom continued. “They planned to come back at sunrise, when the Sabbath was over.”
“I bet they were surprised when they got there.” Luke smiled.
“Yes, because he had risen.” His mom smiled back.
“I know.” Luke got up from the table with the vinegar. “Can I borrow a little of this?”
“Sure.” His mother gave him a knowing wink, and Luke hurried to the bathroom and poured a little vinegar on a cottonball and put it in his eighth egg. He ran upstairs and found a small spear from an action figure that he put in his ninth and got a little white hankerchief for his tenth.
With only two eggs left to fill Luke felt happy when he heard his mother call to go to the Easter Egg hunt at the park. The whole afternoon he had fun with his friend DJ and collected many eggs filled with candy. It was almost sunset when he was getting ready to leave that he remembered his last two empty eggs at home.
“I can’t believe it. I haven’t been looking for my last two eggs.” Luke shook his head.
“What do you mean?” DJ laughed, pointing to his friends overflowing basket. “You have plenty of eggs. You don’t need any more.”
“No, I’m not talking about eggs filled with candy. I’ve been filling eggs with symbols of Easter, and I have two more to go. I should have been looking.” Luke kicked at the ground and a little stone rolled across the path. “Did you see that?”
“What?” asked DJ.
“That stone. When the women came to the tomb after Jesus had died, they found the stone rolled away.” He picked up the small rock. “This is perfect. Now I just need one more.”
All that night and the next morning, Luke looked. He went to church, took the sacrament and listened to his Primary teacher tell the story again of how Christ gave his life for us. When he got home, he slowly put each of the eggs in a basket and went downstairs, but he was sad. He still hadn’t found anything to put in the last egg.
His family sat in the living room while his mother explained about Luke’s Easter hunt. She told them how he had been looking for symbols of the first Easter, and they were all excited to see what Luke had found.
Luke numbered each egg and handed them out so they could be opened in order as his family told the story. These were the things he had saved.
1. A Sacrament Cup to remember the Last Supper
2. A Paper Towel to remember how Christ washed the Apostles’ feet
3. A Bandaid to remember the blood spilt in the Garden of Gethsemane
4. Thirty Cents to remember the Thirty Pieces of Silver Judas was paid to betray him
5. A Piece of String to remember how Jesus was bound and taken to a judge
6. A Thorn to remember the Crown of Thorns placed on his head
7. A Nail to remember how he was Nailed to the Cross
8. Vinegar to remember the vinegar given to him when he asked for water
9. A Spear to remember the spear in his side
10. A White Cloth to remember the cloth placed upon him in the tomb
11. A Round Stone to remember the stone rolled away from the door of the tomb on the first Easter morning
Luke held the last egg in his hand unopened and lowered his head.
“What’s in that one?” his sister said clapping her hands. “I bet it’s the best one.”
“No.” He opened it and bit his lip. “The last egg is empty. I couldn’t think of anything to put in it.”
His dad stood up and put an arm around his son. “Luke, that’s the best egg of all,” he said. “The best part of the story of Jesus is that on that first Easter morning the tomb was empty, just like your last egg. Christ wasn’t there, he is risen. He is alive and loves us and watches over us today. That is the greatest part of Easter.”
“You’re right.” Luke smiled. “It is the best symbol. He isn’t in the tomb, but watching over us right now.” Luke closed the last empty egg and slid it in his pocket. He felt warm inside and knew that all around him he could now see symbols that would remind him how much Christ loved him and that from now on Easter eggs would help him to remember that love every year.

No comments: