A few months before Easter, my son, Aviel, and I witnessed a violent scene a block away from the Garden Tomb in a Muslim neighborhood, not far from where we live in Jerusalem. A group of young men were beating someone with metal rods. A few others carried stones to throw. I began to panic, thinking this man would be murdered before our eyes. Fortunately, an older man dispersed the violent group, and we were able to hurry away.
My son asked, “Why were they hurting him?”
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I wanted to give him an honest response that would not hinder his love for our Arab neighbors. I reminded him that some people worship an idol that tells them to do things that break God’s heart, while others don’t realize that God wants us to love each other. But then I said to him, “We’re here to tell them about Jesus so He can make them new.”
A few weeks later, my son was still troubled by the incident. We talked about how we can have peaceful hearts through Jesus, no matter what happens around us.
“Do you remember how Jesus rose from the dead at Easter?” I asked. “Let’s pray that we see His life revealed in our experiences today.”
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Children’s hearts are easily touched by the Easter story. Being intentional about refocusing on Christ’s resurrection power has shown Aviel that he can invite the Lord’s peace into his circumstances, even when they are scary or confusing.
To help combat the darkness around us, we pray each day for our neighbors — especially when we hear the Muslim call to prayer — that they would know Christ and His freedom.
Easter is when we celebrate Jesus bringing light to darkness. Because the Gospel provides the eternal solution to all of life’s problems, we can embrace this season as a time to engage with our children’s questions, knowing that Jesus has conquered evil.