By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

An early family tradition that I was raised on included the "finding" of hidden Easter baskets. The baskets were well supplied with a generous dose of every child's favorites:
Healthy quantities of cavity infected candy and gum and an unlimited supply of chocolate eggs to top it off.
Mmmm ...
But it was the Chiclets that got me.
I'm not much of a gum chewer any more but back in the day, I liked those colorful little square chunks of gum that blasted with flavor for all of one minute and then retained only their color after that.
In any event, one year the rules changed, and I was told that the gum was off limits until after church.
Blast and bugger ... why must rules exist on a celebratory day called Easter my little mind wondered.
It's really very hard to be forbidden one's very favorite treat and the Chiclets looked long and hard at me and begged me to open them.
All the little colors looked so tantalizingly good.
Finally succumbing to a secret moment of pleasure, I burst the packet open and within minutes six little tasty Chiclets were being guiltily enjoyed in my mouth.
I never told on myself ...
Myself told on me.
My father entered the room while my mouth was heartily employed and I was caught.
And Easter was wrecked in the heart of a child by a dumb little piece of gum.
I endured a spanking on Easter morning and then we went to church.
I remained in a sullen and inconsolable state and, while I knew better than to reflect it, my little heart was very far away.
The message preached was on Redemption;
That's my educated spiritual guess since I really don't recall what it actually was but that's the theme of Easter.
And the Chiclet's story makes me think.
What if Easter was wrecked by our sins and our "Chiclets."
What if those who were found chewing Chiclets were disqualified from the Easter message?
Then what?
Of course this is an absurdity ...
It is the realization of our sin that wakens and brings to life the theme of Redemption.
 Easter is a reason to bring Christ into the season of all of our sin, guilt, shame, and condemnation, be released, and allow the blood of Christ to permanently pardon the sinful cavity within us.
We are all "Chiclet" chewers and none of us is exempt from having had "some" square of color we've enjoyed and employed while the Father's eyes were watching.
And all those who pretend to have never chewed a "Chiclet" cannot and will not be colored and covered in grace.
The Father knows the "Chiclets" in every mouth and He is not fooled.
The Easter season is one to exclaim over!
Easter is the reason to speak to Christ about our sin,
and then enjoy freedom from it.

Revel in the reality that you've been forgiven, chosen, and redeemed, and proclaim the message of Christ's everlasting love wherever you go.
Chew on it ...
Find the color red,
And enjoy release in the flavor called Redemption.
"To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."
Ephesians 1:6-7