From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Everyday Grace: Easter: Treasures all around us

by Mary Cronk Farrell

(From the April 12, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

Everybody loves discovering hidden treasure. And it doesn’t have to be a chest of gold and jewels to make our day. A five-dollar bill pulled from the pocket of last year’s coat. A bargain gleaned from a yard sale. A letter from a friend just when you needed it. Even simple treasures have the power to make our spirits shine.

Writer Annie Dillard tells of a game she played as a girl, hiding pennies along the sidewalk. She used chalk to draw arrows and written directions like “Surprise ahead,” and “Money this way” pointing to her hidden treasures. Not staying around to watch, she only imagined the happiness people would feel upon finding her unexpected gifts.

Later, as an adult Dillard realized the significance of treasure hunting in our everyday lives. She sees the world “studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand.” Wherever we are and at any time there are “lots of things to see, unwrapped gifts and free surprises.”

At Easter we celebrate the greatest treasure of all-the free gift, the unearned prize, the incredulous inheritance-salvation. Perhaps this treasure is too extravagant for us to readily accept. It’s easier at times to focus on our unworthiness, rather than on our God’s generosity, easier to believe in judgment than in mercy and love.

A treasure hunt will do wonders. Waking each day ready to see the marvels that surround us will gradually open our hearts to the most astounding mystery of all.

I like to place a vase of fresh flowers on my desk. Even the simplest bloom, like a daffodil or daisy never ceases to amaze me. The vibrant colors and the delicate textures feed my hungry soul. Taking a moment from my work to appreciate their beauty fills me with awe and admiration for the Creator. It helps train me to notice the world around me with more gratitude. And little by little as I get in the habit of hunting treasures, I get out of the habit of feeling deprived, anxious, and cynical.

Beginning to appreciate the many pennies strewn by a generous hand has led to greater faith in the boundless love that led Jesus to give his life for me.

Here is a simple Easter game on this theme you can prepare for your children. It could substitute for the egg hunt, or be played after all the eggs are found. If Easter Day is full, you can play the game later in the week.

Easter Treasure Hunt

Gather the following items the night before. When it’s time for the hunt, display them, and then send the children to another room. Hide the objects in places appropriate for their ages and call the children back to search for them. As each item is discovered ask the children to guess its significance.

Give gentle hints as needed. For older children you may want to have the Bible at hand, and ask them to find a verse which applies to each symbol.

When all the objects are found arrange them on the table or a shelf. Throughout the Easter season light the candle and use the symbols as a focus for prayer.

Cross (you can make a simple one by tying two small sticks together): Symbol of Christ’s redeeming death.

A rock: Symbol of the empty tomb.

Scrap of cloth: Symbol of the cloth which had wrapped Jesus’ body, and which the women found when they discovered the empty tomb.

Stem of wheat or piece of bread: Symbol of the bread which is the body of Christ.

Clump of grapes (plastic or real): Symbol of the wine which is the blood of Christ.

Flower: Symbol of life which Jesus promises those who love him.

Candle: Symbol of Jesus’ love which is the light of the world.

(Mary Farrell is a Spokane freelance journalist and children’s writer.)

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