Once, many years ago when I was about eight years old, I got a scooter for Easter – a real scooter, you know the kind that you push with one leg and ride on with the rest of your body. It’s especially good going downhill. Now how and why I got the scooter I really don’t know, but there it was on Easter morning. Self-centered person that I was, I don’t even remember if my brother got anything. Prior Easters, the only gifts we got were Easter baskets filled with candy which was a pretty good thing but it wasn’t a scooter. It was the first time I got a real present on Easter and I liked the precedent.
Well, the Easter scooter was wonderful and the next year when Easter rolled around, the expectations were really high. When I came downstairs on Easter morning, there was – what – what was this? – an Easter basket filled with candy. Where was the real present, the scooter equivalent, the next step in turning Easter into a second Christmas?
I didn’t dare say anything but my face must have spelled out how I felt like a neon sign. My mother was on duty and asked what was wrong. I blurted out the whole thing – you know “last year I got a scooter and now…”
She patiently listened and then sat me down and gently set me straight. She said last year was a special occasion. (I still don’t know what the occasion was.) She explained that Easter is not like Christmas. No wise men came bringing gifts to Jesus so we don’t exchange major gifts. This time the gift we got came from Jesus. He rose from the dead – he resurrected and walked out of the tomb. He came back to life and that’s his gift to us. His resurrection is the gift of life for all of us if only we believe. Well at the time, I think I thought a scooter might have been better, but not anymore. As I got older, I got a little bit wiser and now I’ll take that unspeakable gift of life anytime.
The Easter scooter was great but the gift of life is not just for me, it’s for everyone of us. There is no gift at Easter or any other time that is greater than this.