I live a lot of time unintentionally.  And I have let a lot of Easters go by without stopping to "survey the wondrous cross".  This year I consciously decided that wasn't going to happen again.  I (and "we" as a husband & wife/family) have done some things differently this year in order to keep my heart and mind set intentionally on this Event that, really, my entire life is built on. 

See, I believe in a loving and holy triune God who in infinite compassion and wisdom and sacrifice intentionally stepped into flesh and lived.  He was not good or moral or well-behaved.  He was perfect and Morality itself and passionate.  He was at the beginning of everything and always knew the race of man would be a treacherous race.  But he wanted us anyway, meticulously crafted us anyway, loved us limitlessly anyway.  We would never completely grasp or understand what we are worth or what we cost.  Or why we cost death.  But we did.  We do.  And he paid it.  I believe that.  He put in us the capacity to be devoted or to betray, and knew we'd apply one or the other, devotion or betrayal, to him.

I want to be devoted, and that takes practice.  So I've been practicing.  I'm not really good at it.  I think he knew that would be the case, too.  Wow.

What we've done this week as a family is just try to do a little something each day that puts Jesus and the realities of holy week back into our minds.  We've read Bible stories, colored sheets and made decorations, read story books, and just talked about it.  It's been such a blessing for Brilliant Beauty's spring break to fall during this time of year.  We spend the days hanging out and doing activities and talking.  And I've been reminded that the devotion comes not out of the activities or the projects or even the conversations we have, but in the posture of the heart.  That has made all the difference this week for me.  Even clipping azaleas and indian hawthorne to put in glass jars and set around the house felt like a remembrance of life, death, and resurrection.  It was in the posture of my heart.

We're down to the last few activities I've been saving for the last two or three days of holy week.  This is the one we will do today.  Monetarily it cost me a whopping $1.07, and about an hour of my time to gather what I needed and to put it all together.  The idea is definitely not original to me, but per usual I made it my own.  It is a simple way to tell the story of the last days and hours of Jesus' life, his death, and his resurrection.

There are 12 eggs, each one labeled #1 through #12.
#1 is little leaves to represent the palm branches laid down when
Jesus entered Jerusalem.
#2 is small bottle of perfume to represent Mary washing Jesus' feet.
#3 is a piece of flat bread to represent the last supper with the disciples.
#4 is a picture of Jesus holding a child as a reminder that his death was
for us, not something impersonal or against his will.

#5 is three dimes to symbolize the pieces of silver Judas
accepted for betraying Jesus.
#6 is a piece of purple cloth to represent the purple royal robes
that were placed on Jesus after his arrest as a mockery of him.
#7 is a cross.
#8 is a nail to represent the nails driven into his hands and feet.

#9 is a sign with "King of the Jews" written on it, like the one the
soldiers placed above Jesus' head when he was crucified.
#10 is a small swatch of black cloth bound with a rubber band and
holding cloves to represent the burial spices the women brought to
the tomb.
#11 is a rounded stone to represent the door to the tomb being rolled
#12 is empty to represent an EMPTY grave.

Devotion takes practice.  And some parts of practicing are easy and breezy.  Other times I think the practicing is pointless at best and going to kill me at worst.  But then my heart wins out over my head and my hands, and I am devoted.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

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