I'll never forget the first time I heard someone say: "What are you getting your kids for Easter?" WHAT?! Thank goodness my kids were already grown at that point, so I didn't have to wonder if I should be getting them something for Easter. When I was a kid, we barely even got an Easter basket! We dyed eggs, my parents hid them in the yard, and on Easter morning - after church - we rounded up some baskets and searched for the eggs. We NEVER had cellophane wrapped baskets with the grass and chocolate bunnies and such. And I always WANTED that grass! I so envied the kids that had the fancy baskets with the grass and chocolate bunnies just like I envied the kids that ate "dinner" instead of "supper" and had "couches" instead of "sofas".
So when MY kids were little, they got baskets with grass and bunnies AND we dyed eggs and hunted for them (that really is fun, I have to admit). But it took me many years to understand that my parents really had it right - Easter is about the man, not the stuff. When you get right down to it, it should really be more important to Christians than Christmas, since it's the day Jesus was REborn after making the ultimate sacrifice for us - a sacrifice for which I am grateful.
I must admit at this point that I do not currently have a "church home" although I'd like to. Throughout my life I've struggled with this. I think I NEED a church home to help me learn and serve and stay focused; at the same time, I think I can and should worship and witness and serve every single day, wherever I am, and - as a Christian - feel that I should be doing my best to emulate Christ or at least try to understand and embrace his message. If I were a Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, Hindu or whatever, I'd be doing my best to emulate/understand the teachings of a different leader. (Shockingly enough, I don't believe there's only one true religion.)
Here's another scene from the past:
Nick: "Nanny (note: my mom) wants to know why we don't go to church."
Me: "Because, Nick, churches are so full of hypocrites."
Cut to three days later:
Nick: "I told Nanny what you said about hypocrites and she said 'and every time your mother walks through the door, there's one more.'"
Whoa! The truth sure hurts, eh? She was (is) so right! I know it's wrong to look for perfection in a church, or any body of people, for that matter. I'm not really looking for perfection, just: 1) a riveting sermon that will stay with me for at least a few days, 2) beautiful, traditional music, well-played and well-sung, 3) meaningful ceremony, and 4) at least a few people who really seem to embody what Jesus was all about, which in my mind can be summed up: "Love one another". I've had that before, and it was so great, it's just been hard to replicate. But I'm still working on it. Maybe I'll find it tomorrow.