As a little girl, Easter meant many things to me.
It meant waking up early to find Easter baskets in unusual places such as the dryer, the pantry, or the craft closet.
It meant my sister and I wearing matching dresses in pastel colors, and my mom curling my bangs against my will.
It meant going to church, just like every Sunday, and seeing a plethora of well-dressed strangers.
It meant singing the old hymns and reading from the Gospels.
It meant packing the house full of family, and packing our stomachs full of delicious ham, and deviled eggs, and jello.
It meant going on extravagant egg hunts for treat eggs full of candy and stickers, and trick eggs full of dog food and birdseed, among other treasures.
It meant eating dinner rolls and leftover pie for dinner because we were still stuffed from our midday feast.
And it meant crashing into bed, full of sugar and good memories of another Easter well spent.
But as I have grown up, the meaning of Easter has changed.
I still love to uphold family traditions, but instead of focusing on the celebration as I did in my childhood, I now love to focus on why we celebrate.
In the glory of Easter, the sorrow and pain of death has been defeated forever!
The fear of Friday and sting of Saturday become distant memories in the face of the miracle of Easter morning.
One bright morning, 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and forever altered the trajectory of mankind.
Christ has risen! He is risen indeed!