I was driving home from cubs when I caught a glimpse of my sister disappearing into her vehicle. I wondered out loud where she was going, and then remembered. Earlier she had issued an invitation that I barely acknowledged, caught up as I was in the state of my house and my empty stomach.
Now, I had a chance to replay our conversation. What a gift that invitation represented, and how ungratefully I had responded. Ashamed, I rushed home and gathered my crew. “Our neighbor has a whole batch of new lambs and wants us to come and help feed them”. My kids roared with excitement. With squeals of delight and a mass of confusion and chaos, we found ourselves loaded and on our way.
The farm smelt of sweet musty hay. The salt of the earth neighbors greeted us warmly and showed us the sheep. Those lambs, so small, so energetic eagerly came to the kids hands, sucking on fingers and nibbling on boots. A little black lamb was picked up and passed from child to child. The noise was deafening. Bleeting and snorting mingled well with the squeals and laughter of children. It was warm outside, and even warmer inside.
Once the kids were tired out of holding lambs, mimicking mothers, petting horses, chasing puppies and wading through mud, we moved to the backyard. The sun’s slow descent painted a blush on the cheeks of the sky. In it’s rosy light, the kids jumped and played tag, thoroughly enjoying each other and the crisp mountain air.
Parents discussed trees, sheep, wind and gardens until it was time to return home. Tearfully kids gave hugs, ran around the yard one last time and then tumbled back into the suburban.
We talked of lambs, of spring, of hope and of THE LAMB. Why did Christ come to earth ‘like a lamb’. The Lamb of God, so pure and innocent, calls each of us. His invitation is clear; it is sincere. As stated in the LIVING CHRIST, “He entreats all to follow his example”.
This Easter, our family committed to do all we could to come closer to the Savior and follow Elder Holland’s Easter plea:
That these scenes of Christ’s lonely sacrifice, laced with moments of denial and abandonment and, at least once, outright betrayal, must never be reenacted by us. He has walked alone once. Now, may I ask that never again will He have to confront sin without our aid and assistance, that never again will He find only unresponsive onlookers when He sees you and me along His Via Dolorosain our present day. . . —may we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear. This Easter week and always, may we stand by Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,” for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone.