There is a pagan temple that was built a year ago near our home in Austin. It's only a ten minute walk away. We drive by it every time we go to church. And do you know what puzzles the kids more than anything? These pagans worship so many gods, including a couple of guys who are dead and have been dead for a long time.
We went to the Maundy Thursday service, and as we passed by the temple, the kids got upset again. They just can't understand why anyone would want to serve all those gods, especially dead ones.
On the way back from the service, one of the kids asked why church had to be so somber. It's so sad to be so serious, to leave the church in silence, to see the altar stripped bare and the cross draped in black. Jesus is risen, so why dwell on all this sadness? We explained that it was important to take the time to think about the Crucifixion, to consider all that happened to Him and what it must have been like on the Cross.
His Passion and Resurrection are central to our Faith. How glorious can the Resurrection be if we gloss over the Crucifixion?
Then Joshua suddenly piped up, "What's awesome is that Jesus died, but He isn't dead! He's alive! We worship the God who lives!"