Easter offers prime opportunities for sharing Christ. Barbara Craft, Barbara Rainey and others tell how Resurrection Eggs can be a creative tool for sharing Christ.
Easter offers prime opportunities for sharing Christ. Barbara Craft, Barbara Rainey and others tell how Resurrection Eggs can be a creative tool for sharing Christ.
Bob: In 1994, a grandmother by the name of Barbara Craft heard about a way to use plastic Easter eggs to share the Easter story with friends, neighbors and children. She fell in love with the idea.
Barbara: The idea that I like about this is you’re getting the Bible in front of them—you’re getting the Word of God. This is not just a story. We’re using great things to tell a story. This is something—they may remember the donkey, the nails—but it’s a way of engraving the Word on their heart and fulfilling Deuteronomy 6—you know, it says to talk about these things when you get up / when you’re sitting in your house. This is, to me, what this project does.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Wednesday, April 2nd. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. We will hear some FamilyLife Today history today as we hear about the first time Barbara Craft shared with us the idea for what became Resurrection Eggs®. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Wednesday edition. We have people who will pull us aside, from time to time; and they’ll say to us: “You know who you guys ought to interview? You ought to have so-and-so as a guest on your program.” We often get some great recommendations from listeners who suggest someone that we ought to talk to.
Dennis: We do. I agree.
Bob: We try to dig and say: “Okay, what would our listeners be most interested in? What would be most helpful? What is the best kind of practical, biblical help we can give them related to marriage and family?”
I remember when somebody on our staff, more than 20 years ago, pulled me aside and said, “Do you know who you ought to interview?” And they told me about a grandma, who was on staff, here at FamilyLife. I have to confess to you, I thought, “Yeahhh, we’re probably not going to do an interview with a grandma who’s on staff.” You know?
Dennis: This is not just any grandma. This is Barbara Craft. She is a woman of the Word. She is a wife, a mom, a grandmother who has taken her role seriously. When she found out about a way to be able to bring the reality of Easter into her family—but also the families of her neighbors—she jumped all over it.
Bob: This was a craft project she put together: —a basket full of plastic eggs—each one with a symbol of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
Dennis: There must have been 25 to 30 different eggs in the basket that she brought in.
Bob: I just thought: “How are we going to talk about plastic eggs on a radio program? People can’t see it. It’s a nice idea—“
Dennis: Well, we always are interested in helping families have an outreach to others.
Bob: And that’s ultimately why we decided, “Let’s go ahead and have Barbara on.” I remember thinking, in the back of my mind, “You know, if the interview doesn’t go well, we don’t have to use it.” Well, the interview went fine; didn’t it?
Dennis: It went so well, in fact—just a little bit more to the story. I don’t remember exactly how it occurred; but as we were interviewing her, it all made so much sense. Somehow, we put our heads together and said: “You know, we really can’t put these eggs in a basket and ship them in the mail to listeners who want them. I would think people would like to have a dozen of these eggs of their own.”
We thought: “What if you took a carton and filled it full of these eggs—with the objects that are in them that tell the story of Easter—that help a mom and dad, grandma / grandpa, or help a young family share Christ in their neighborhood with the world’s largest Easter egg party? What if we had something like that?” Well, we put together a few of them—
Bob: We put together 3,000 sets.
Dennis: Were you out there?
Bob: I was not out there.
Dennis: I was out there—at our kids’ junior high cafeteria. We worked all Saturday. I prayed over those 3,000 sets—I said, “Lord, God, I pray these don’t end up in our warehouse for the next 20 or 30 years.”
Bob: We were putting little donkeys into one egg, and putting coins in another egg.
Dennis: A rock representing the stone that was put in front of Christ’s grave in another, and then, of course, there was the easiest one to assemble of all—which had nothing in it.
Bob: That’s right, the empty egg which represents the tomb. And here’s the thing—we did the 3,000 sets; and we also made available a list so, if anybody wanted to create their own set, they could just—“Here, you need to find a donkey, and you need to find a little pebble, you need to find the coins…” and all that. “Get your own plastic eggs.” Well, we had people calling us saying, “We want multiple sets of those.” Those 3,000 were gone like that! That first year, we wound up assembling an additional 7,000 to send out to our listeners.
Dennis: And I’m going to tell our listeners—I was not there on the second Saturday they had to be assembled. In fact, I think we found someone—a bunch of teenagers to be able to—[Laughter]
Bob: [Laughter] You scheduled a weekend out of town when you heard that was happening, as I remember. Well, today, we thought it would be fun for our listeners to go back and hear that very first interview, from 20 years ago, when Barbara Craft—that grandmother who was on staff, here at FamilyLife—came into the studio and brought the very first Resurrection Eggs that we had ever seen.
Dennis: Our table is covered with eggs here. It’s really quite festive here, Bob. Tell us: “What do all these eggs represent, Barbara?” and, “How did you come up with the idea of teaching about Easter through an object lesson like eggs?”
Barbara: Well, I didn’t come up with the idea. I’m not a creative-type person. I’m one that sees an idea and I can go with it. I was in our home, teaching ladies how to do a craft project—using paper bags and paper twists—and making this soft, frilly basket that you see in front of here now.
Well, we were making the baskets. One of the girls mentioned this story of telling the Easter story with eggs. I had never heard about it. The next thing I knew she sent me a paper. It had just some Scriptures and things that you can use and put inside a plastic egg and tell the Easter story. Right away, I started making baskets for my neighbors—making sets of eggs from this craft project, and putting them in there, and just giving them out to whomever I could.
Dennis: And what you’ve done here—you’ve composed a list that starts with, really, Palm Sunday and objects associated with that. You’ve just followed, chronologically, all the events of Easter and the verses that accompany them. You’ve selected objects that illustrate each of those events. Let me just pull out one of these eggs here—this one here—[jingling sound]—three dimes. Okay, Barbara, what does that represent?
Barbara: Well, that represents the 30 pieces of silver that Judas betrayed Christ for.
Dennis: And out, beside that, you’ve got Matthew 27:3-5 so the children—or for that matter, the adults—are getting the opportunity to go to the Scripture to really study the Easter story.
Bob: I bet kids would have a great time figuring out what each thing inside the egg represents.
Barbara: I did it in a Sunday school class of three- and four-year-olds at our church. I hid the eggs, and then they came in. Of course, there’s that adventure of finding the eggs. All the eggs have a number on them. Then, we sat around in a circle; and they would give me their egg, starting with number one. We would open it up, and then I would ask them what it was.
Again, this was three- and four-year-olds—they were so still. Of course, they are just so excited because they want to open their eggs. They want you to hurry up and get to theirs.
And then they wanted to hide them again. They wanted to do it again, and again, and the hour was gone. The idea that I like about this is—you’re getting the Bible in front of them. You’re getting the Word of God—this is not just a story. We’re using great things to tell a story. It’s a way of engraving the Word on their heart and fulfilling Deuteronomy 6—you know, it says to talk about these things when you get up / when you’re sitting in your house. This is, to me, what this project does.
Dennis: I think there is a great need today, in Christian families, to do more than just crack open this Book; but to get our kids diving into it afresh—discovering their own insights and talking about the relevance of these objects in their lives today. “What is the symbolism of the nails and the verse that goes along with that?”—Christ’s death on the cross. We have hope because of this—and bringing that hope to our kids—and maybe even using these eggs as an opportunity to lead your kids to Christ.
Barbara: And then, when youcome to this empty egg—and again, that representing that He is no longer in that tomb—and then telling them: “Where is He today? He is seated at the right hand of the Father.”
Dennis: I think it is so easy to just assume our kids understand redemption: “What sent Jesus to the cross? Why did He have to die?” It was our sin—our breaking of God’s law—our fallen nature that sent Christ to the cross—and really created a need for God to step out of eternity, in His Son, to redeem us back to Himself and to write our names in heaven.
Barbara: What you have just done is what I’m hoping that this project will do. Having something like this that you can see and touch—it is fun, and it has a powerful message to each one.
Dennis: It really does. Barbara Craft, you have helped us, today, to be able to focus on that message.
I want to thank you for doing that because we can make Easter a profoundly simple and yet powerful spiritual experience—not only for us—but for our children, as well, and pass on a legacy to the next generation.
Barbara Rainey: One of the things that I think is neat about this is that there are different applications for using it. For instance, you could use it like an Advent wreath at Christmas—and use one egg per day or one object and verse per day—leading up to Easter. Or you could take the ones and just use them for the particular event the week of Easter, starting with the triumphal entry on the Sunday before. Then, you could use the objects that happened on the Thursday before Easter, and then the ones that illustrate what happened on Good Friday, and you could walk your way through Easter week.
I think that there are lots of different ways that a family could use this, depending on the ages of your children or how you wanted to celebrate Easter together. You could talk this through and try one one year and try another another year, and see what works best for your family.
Barbara: I think that is right—and if you have them all out—where they can see them during the day, and touch them, and play with them, or whatever they’re going to do with this—then, again, they’re reminded of the Scripture: “What does this sword represent, to me, about Easter?” Or you could do that sometime during the day—again, asking, “Well, what do you remember about that sword we talked about three days ago?” It’s just that continual remembering and reminding that we’re so often told to do in Scripture. We don’t remember it the first time.
Barbara Rainey: Right.
Bob: During the Easter season, a family could use these eggs to really spark their family devotions, whether it’s at breakfast every morning—having a different egg on the table and opening it up, talking about what’s in there, reading the Scripture. Maybe, at dinner or after dinner—go in the living room and have it—but it would just be a great way to give children a visual connection with the story so they’re not just hearing it told; but they’re seeing it with the symbols, right there, before them.
Barbara: Maybe, you could hide the egg. There’s always that—children love that element of seeking and finding. So, maybe—
Dennis: What do you mean—“children”? [Laughter] I love to go on scavenger hunts.
Barbara: Yes, I do, too. I do, too. You can hide an egg someplace; and whoever finds it that day could tell the story—that evening, at dinner. They could tell the Scripture that’s with that. There’s just a variety—I love hearing this creativity. That’s what I am just hoping is going to come about as a result of this.
Bob: Well, we’ve been back in the archives, listening to a program recorded more than 20 years ago.
Dennis: With a friend—a dear, dear beloved friend, Barbara Craft.
Bob: It’s good to hear her voice; isn’t it?
Dennis: It is. It is, and she couldn’t have fathomed that this would go on to see more than 1.5 million dozen of these eggs distributed, all the way around the world.
Bob: If she could have fathomed that, she would have come in and said, “Let me show you my copyrighted Resurrection Eggs.” [Laughter]
Dennis: No, I don’t think she would have. Barbara was all about outreach—wanting to share Christ with people.
Bob: She was.
Dennis: That’s what prompted her in the first place.
Not long after we had Barbara here in the studio, we made a phone call to another grandmother. This grandmother may have been interested in sharing the eggs with her grandchildren; but it ended up sounding, to me, like that she was really excited about sharing them with her adult children.
Bob: Yes. Her name is Cindy. She’s a friend of Barbara Craft’s. Barbara had shared the idea with her. So, we called her and said, “Tell us what you thought about the Resurrection Eggs.”
Cindy: When Barbara asked me if I would like these, I thought, “This is kind of hokey, but I like the idea.” And she had gone to so much trouble. So, I took them; and then, after I had them—when Easter came, I thought, “This is how I can do something in the center of my table after we come home from lunch.” I just decorated the table with them, and they didn’t ask too many questions about it. When it was over, I just said, “We have a game we’re going to play.”
I said: “The eggs all have numbers on them. As you turn them up, we need to try to decide, whatever is in the egg: ‘What does that represent that has to do with the biblical account of Jesus’ resurrection?’” I was amazed at how they enjoyed it. They had a great time with it. So, that is something that— I know now I can have on my table every Easter, and it won’t make any difference. It will be wonderful now when the little ones can come and participate. But no, I used it with adult children.
And they didn’t know what all of them were. It took a little while; but even one of my children—that is not so much in church now, but very well-trained—he enjoyed that. I thought, “That is not cramming it down their throat.”
Dennis: Cindy, I want to thank you for being on FamilyLife Today and sharing your story with us.
Cindy: You’re quite welcome. Bye-bye.
Bob: That’s a phone call we made 20 years ago to a grandma who was using Resurrection Eggs—not with her grandchildren—but with her adult children. Just in case listeners were wondering, the other voice they heard there was a young Dennis Rainey. [Laughter]
Dennis: It did sound a lot younger; didn’t it? [Laughter]
There’s another phone call we made to Leah. She had three daughters that she wanted to share the story of Easter with.
Bob: And this became a tradition for her family.
Leah: I’ve been just mesmerized; and to this day, we’ve done it for probably four years—it’s kind of a tradition.
Bob: Now, how old were the girls the first time y’all did this?
Leah: Probably two, four, and six.
Bob: Do you do it on Easter?
Leah: No, we kind of use the week before Easter to prepare our hearts to worship the risen Lord on Sunday. So, it’s not just Sunday that we worship on and observe Easter.
Dennis: Leah, how do you involve your husband, Gene, in the process of sharing the eggs with your children?
Leah: Well, one thing that is really neat to do is Gene will hide the eggs in a certain room, and have the children find the eggs. That way, it makes the story of Jesus’ resurrection a treasure to find. If they find the eggs, that’s their reward—the Word of God is their reward. It’s just a very creative way to share the Easter story with children because they love to see what’s inside of something.
In one of the eggs is a nail. You read to your child about how they nailed Jesus to the cross. They would take that—and I remember my five-year-old—her face. She went, “Whoa, Mommy!” to see a nail. Then, they would place it on their hands—on the inside of their little palms—just to see what that felt like. [Emotion in voice]
I think that the nail is the most powerful item in the eggs—that visual that you can hold in your hand. You can feel it and to see it. It’s very powerful. I think that it just brings it home, and it brings the understanding to a deeper level for a child.
Bob: I want to talk to your kids.
Leah: Oh, you do. Okay.
Bob: Yes. Why don’t we start with Rebekah?
Bob: Hi, Rebekah. How are you?
Rebekah: Fine, thank you. How are you?
Bob: I’m fine. Listen, we wanted to talk to you. You know the special Easter eggs that your mommy has?
Bob: Tell me what they are.
Rebekah: Well, there are ten eggs, and they all tell the story. There will be a little paragraph that she says—that’s a Bible verse. Then, we’ll take turns reading it. One would be—it’d say, “He died on the cross,” and there’d be a wooden cross, or “Feed my sheep,” and there’d be a little lamb.
Dennis: Rebekah, this is Mr. Rainey. Do you really like going through those eggs?
Bob: Can we talk to Rachel?
Rebekah: Sure; one moment.
Dennis: This is Mr. Rainey. How are you doing today?
Dennis: Your mom did something last Easter with some eggs. Do you remember that?
Dennis: Tell us about them. What do you do with those eggs?
Rachel: Well, she’ll read a verse, and we’ll open it up, and see what’s inside.
Dennis: Like, what will be inside?
Rachel: Like the cross where Jesus died, and like the empty egg.
Dennis: Do you really like to do that?
Rachel: It’s fun.
Bob: Does it get boring when your parents bring out those eggs, or do you like it?
Rachel: I like it.
Bob: But, don’t they make you sit down and listen?
Bob: But that’s okay?
Bob: Tell you what. Can we talk to Sarah?
Bob: Okay, thanks.
Bob: Hi, Sarah?
Bob: How are you?
Bob: Are you? Do you know Mr. Rainey?
Bob: Do you? Okay.
Dennis: Hi, Sarah. This is Mr. Rainey. Do you remember the Easter eggs that your mom uses every year?
Sarah: Yes, sir.
Dennis: Do you like them?
Sarah: Yes, sir.
Dennis: Why do you like them?
Sarah: Because they’re fun to open.
Bob: What kinds of things does she put in those eggs?
Sarah: Money, the cross, a nail, the empty egg.
Bob: You remember a lot of them. Sarah, can we talk to your mommy again?
Bob: We’ll probably have some listeners who will think about doing this with their kids at Easter time. Would you encourage them to?
Leah: I really would! It’s just such a simple but impactful way to share the Easter story—a creative way / a different way.
Dennis: Well, Leah—thanks for being on the broadcast.
Leah: Oh, sure. Bye-bye.
Bob: Well, again, it’s fun to go back and listen to some of the early phone calls we made when we were first talking to moms about the idea of a set of eggs that they could use during Easter week to tell their children the story of the resurrection.
Dennis: It worked back then, and it’s working today. We just decided we would take the resource and re-release it with a 20th Anniversary Edition. I think what was already excellent, and outstanding, and a whole lot of fun has really been moved up a notch. It’s cool because the booklet that goes with the eggs is available both in English and Spanish.
Bob: In fact, look at the back of your carton there—Resurrection Eggs—can you read what it says there on the back?
Dennis: Not upside down.
Bob: Look. Read that out loud to our listeners.
Dennis: Are you talking about the English, of course; aren’t you?
Bob: Huevitos de Resurreccion™—so Resurrection Eggs. The carton comes with both English and Spanish so that listeners can use it in either setting.
Dennis: Bob is flaunting two things there—one, his experience from San Antonio—
Dennis: There you go; and secondly, he’s also reminding me of my Spanish and the grade I received.
Bob: What grade did you get in Spanish? [Laughter]
Dennis: It was in eighth grade—that was the year. Gratefully, they did pass me on to the ninth grade—but not because I excelled in the language of Spanish.
Bob: I don’t think you’ve said the grade yet. What was that grade that you got?
Dennis: It was south of “D.” [Laughter]
Bob: We, of course, have Resurrection Eggsin our FamilyLife Today Resource Center. Our listeners can go, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com to order a set of these eggs to use, this year, at Easter time. Or if you live near a Christian bookstore, many Christian bookstores have Resurrection Eggs. I know Family Christian Store has them—I think Lifeway and Mardel have them. There are even Walmart®s, across America, that have Resurrection Eggsthis year at Easter—just a great tool to use to share the story of Easter with children, with neighbors, with relatives.
Find out more. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com and click on the link that says, “Go Deeper,” at the top left-hand corner of the page. The information about Resurrection Eggs is available right there. You can order from us online. There is also information about the resources Barbara Rainey has been creating that can be used at Easter time to, not only share the story of Easter, but to beautifully decorate your home for the holiday, as well.
Again, go to FamilyLifeToday.com and click on the link that says, “Go Deeper,” at the top left-hand corner of the page. There is information about these resources there. You can order from us, online; or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY; 1-800-358-6329; that’s 1-800- “F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then, the word, “TODAY.”
Now, let me say a special word of thanks to those of you who are regular listeners to FamilyLife Today and have listened long enough to know that what we’re all about, as a ministry, resonates with what you believe, as a family.
We are here to provide practical biblical help for your marriage and your family. We believe that if we can effectively develop godly families, those godly families can change the world, one home at a time.
And we appreciate those of you who share in that mission and who help support the mission through your prayers and your financial contributions. If you can help us with a donation right now, we’d like to send you, as a thank-you gift, a set of three prayer cards—one that will give you specifics on how to pray more effectively for your husband, another card on how to pray for your wife, and then a third card for the two of you to use together to pray for your children.
These are our way of saying: “Thank you for your support of the ministry. We really do appreciate your partnership.” Simply go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that says, “I Care.” You can make an online contribution; or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY—1-800-358-6329. Make a donation over the phone, and ask for the prayer cards when you do that.
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Tomorrow, we’ll hear more from people who have used Resurrection Eggs as a way to share the news of Easter with friends and family members. We’ll talk more about that tomorrow. I hope you can join us.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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