“Getting Ready for Easter,” Friend, March 2021
“Wake up, Lydia,” Mama said. “It’s Clean Thursday!” In Russia, where Lydia lived, Clean Thursday was a special day to get ready for Easter.
Lydia rolled over and looked out her window. It was still dark outside.
“Mama, I’m so tired,” Lydia said. “Can I just sleep a little longer and work later?”
Mama smiled and sat on the bed. “There’s a reason we wake up so early today. Do you know what it is?”
Lydia thought hard, but she didn’t know.
“We work hard to make our home clean today to remind us of when Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. He loved and served others, and we want to serve like Jesus did in our home. Today is a day to remember Jesus!” Mama said.
Lydia wanted to serve like Jesus, so she jumped out of bed. For the rest of the day, she worked hard. She cleaned the floor, washed clothes, and helped cook food. At the end of the day, she felt proud. Everything was sparkling clean.
The next day was Good Friday. Lydia, Mama, and Papa made Easter eggs. They poked little holes in the shells and drained out all the yolk. They drew patterns on the eggs and covered each pattern in wax. Then they dipped the eggs in bright red, purple, and green dye. Lydia loved how pretty all the swirling patterns looked.
When the eggs dried, Lydia rolled up little photos of her family and put one in each egg. This Friday was a day to be together and remember Jesus’s sacrifice. It was the day of the week when Jesus died. The eggs reminded Lydia of the tomb where Jesus lay. Lydia’s family did their best to remember Him.
On Holy Saturday, Mama made kulich (Easter bread). Making kulich was an important Easter tradition in Russia. People always tried to be reverent when kulich was baked. Lydia thought about her family, Jesus’s Resurrection, and things she was grateful for. It was easier to think about spiritual things when her house was so clean and peaceful.
Finally it was Easter Sunday! Lydia was so excited. Her cousins came over to visit. They all ate the delicious food she had helped cook. There were pies, kulich, sausages, and cheeses. As they ate, they shared their testimonies and talked about things they were grateful for.
After dinner they played a special game. Each person held a decorated egg and tapped it against another egg. The person whose egg cracked first lost the game. Lydia’s arms shook as she pressed her egg up against her cousin’s egg. “Come on, egg!” she shouted. Her bright purple egg cracked into pieces. There in the broken shell was the picture of her family.
Lydia smiled as she looked at the photo. She didn’t mind that she lost the game. A warm, happy feeling filled her heart. She had worked hard to prepare for this Easter by helping and loving her family. Because of Christ’s Resurrection, they would all live again!