The genesis of Easter Creche began several years ago as a culmination of many different experiences over time. It all started with a personal desire to learn and understand on a deeper level the meaning and purpose of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, of His role in my personal life as Savior and Redeemer, and of the hope and power which is available to all of us through his Atonement and Resurrection.
I nurtured this desire for deeper understanding by studying the scripture, engaging in prayer, and traveling to the Holy Land. Through these efforts, my joy and gratitude increased as well as my knowledge and understanding of Jesus’ sacrifice.
Through these experiences, I gained a deeper understanding of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which gives life, light, hope, understanding, power, and energy to everything. It gives purpose and meaning to all that we experience in our mortal lives, and enables joy to fill the space hollowed out by our pain and suffering. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite in scope and depth, yet personal and individual in its application.
We can connect with Jesus through His loving embrace and experience the joy of “at-one-ment” with ourselves, Him, and others. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, we can regain wholeness in both body and spirit. Through the atonement of our Lord and Savior, we can and will receive beauty for ashes when we lay our burdens at His feet.
As these truths settled in my heart, I experienced deep regret over my inadequate attempts in the past to teach and celebrate Jesus’ sacrifice, the most important event in time and eternity, particularly during the Easter holiday season. I ached to improve, to better share what I was learning and feeling with those around me, especially with my children and grandchildren.
As I contemplated how to better commemorate this blessed occasion, my thoughts focused on how we celebrate Christ at Christmas. I began to wonder if we could celebrate in a similar manner during the Easter season. One of the ways in which we create a Christ-centered Christmas holiday is by displaying a Christmas crèche, or nativity scene.
I began searching for a similar display for celebrating Easter, a scene which focused on Jesus’ resurrection rather than His birth. I found a few simple attempts at depicting Holy Week events, but saw nothing that conveyed the beauty that I desired. I was surprised by this void, so I attempted to make an Easter crèche myself. Sadly, my results fell short of my desire.
Shortly after my failed attempt, I was fortunate to become acquainted with Chris Smith, an exceptionally gifted artist. I shared my ideas with Chris, who was excited to help me realize my vision. In addition to being qualified artistically, Chris was also a devout follower of Jesus Christ, allowing him to infuse light and truth into his sculptures, imbuing them with an essence that would carry through the reproductions. The results were everything I had hoped for!
The arts have a unique teaching power. Beautiful architecture, stained-glass windows, sculpture, paintings, music, literature, plays, dance, and movies can all engage us in powerful ways. They can point us heavenward, and deepen our understanding of Godly truths. They can spark interest, raise questions, and unveil discoveries which can enrich our lives and bring us closer to God. This has always been my hope for our Easter crèches.
As Christians, we want to find ways to help people refocus their thoughts and lives towards Christ. It is our desire to help others connect with Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Beautiful and uplifting art speaks to us on a deep level, allowing it to be a wonderful vehicle to facilitate this reorientation and reconnection. The Easter crèche can be this vehicle, enabling us to feel and share God’s truths in our homes and with our families.
When a statement of truth is made, whether through spoken or written word, or through a form of art, I believe that it resonates with the light of Christ that is in each and every person. Children in particular are very impressionable and responsive to light and truth. For that reason, I wanted the Easter crèche to be both artistically beautiful and durable, so that young children could touch and interact with it. The more that our senses are engaged, the deeper impression the crèche will leave.
Some have wondered why we chose to use the word “crèche”, a term that traditionally refers to a Christmas nativity scene. We acknowledge that it is unusual and unique to use this word in connection with Easter. In our opinion, a Christmas crèche is a decorative scene depicting and celebrating Christ’s birth, whereas an Easter crèche is a decorative scene depicting and celebrating Christ’s re-birth.
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