The other day, my daughter and I were reminiscing about Easter celebrations past, specifically about our Easter egg hunts. I used to wake up early on Sunday morning and hide eggs throughout the woods behind our house and then, after the kids woke up, they’d go outside and find them. And each time they found an egg, they would yell out, “He is risen!” as loud as they could, a reminder that when the women went to the tomb on Sunday morning, they found it empty because Jesus had risen.
Now that she’s older, she finds it funny that she used to yell that, but I’m really glad she did. Because now, for the rest of her life, she’s going to associate something as secular as an Easter egg hunt with something as sacred as the resurrection of our Savior. She’ll never just see Easter eggs; she’ll always see an empty tomb!
A lot time of times when we talk about discipleship at home, parents say to me, “I don’t know how to do devotions with my kids” or “I don’t know what to say about Jesus.” My answer for them is simply this; don’t look at discipleship as having to do something more, rather as a chance to invite Christ into what you are already doing. And on Easter Sunday, it is very likely your family will engage in some predictable behaviors. So here are some ideas on how you can take what you are already doing and welcome Christ into your Easter celebration!
So, to find out what memories really stick with us as we grow, I turned to my friends on Facebook and asked, “What do you remember about Easter as a kid?” Here are some of their answers along with some ideas on how to make these memories ones that are filled with Jesus.
Dressing up for Easter Sunday
A lot of my friends mentioned that they remembered dressing up for Easter and getting new clothes, new hats, and new shoes on for their trip into church and taking lots of pictures.
But here’s a fun way one mom turned it into a discipleship moment: “My mom each year got us a new dress to represent new life in Christ.” Many years later, this woman still remembers the deeper meaning of her Easter clothes!
Eating delicious food
So many brought up Easter dinner, Easter desserts and yummy Easter treats. Here are some ways my friends and their parents turned the food into a lasting memory of the real meaning of Easter.
I used to make empty tomb cookies with my boys on the Saturday night before Easter morning. You put them in the preheated oven. Seal the oven door with tape and turn the oven off. There are Bible verses that go along with the ingredients like vinegar and the verse about Jesus being given sour wine on the cross. The next morning when the oven is unsealed, we would pull out the ” tombs” and break them open. They were hollow and empty, like Christ’s tomb. (Wanna try? Here’s the recipe and readings.)
Easter dinner!!! Some of the best fellowship is had over food. And I come from a tradition of providing hospitality to another family for Easter dinner each year.
Going to Church
Okay, so this one seems like a no-brainer. Of course going to church would stick with kids, right? Quite a few of my friends mentioned that, while they did go to church, that wasn’t what stuck with them, or if it did, it was a negative memory, not a positive one. Here’s an example:
Waking up to get the Easter basket wondering what would be inside and after church doing an egg hunt. Sadly I do not remember much of the point of the day, just the traditions surrounding the bunny
So, how can we help it to be positive and more meaningful?
I think this is the simplest answer of all. Be excited about it. Be excited about Easter. Be excited about the opportunity to go to church and celebrate the risen Savior. Our excitement will make these memories stand out as what is most meaningful about this day! For those who remembered their Easter church experience positively, what made it that way was the excitement shown by their parents and others who were in church.
My Dad was really big on going to the sunrise service and our church did it at a park so it was almost always horribly cold. But I remember always being glad we did it, because it was beautiful. Then we would go to the big service at church. I remember everyone being so excited and so happy for the day. It has definitely always been a joyous celebratory day.
Singing “Christ Arose” and “He Lives” are happy memories and those songs still make me cry. Hearing a choir lady sing “He could have called ten thousand angels” as Jesus was hanging on the cross always made me cry thinking of His sacrifice. I just teared up writing this.
The memories that were remembered where the ones that were happy, where there was joy and excitement. And we get to do that! We get to share our joy over the resurrection with our children. We get to invite them into a celebration like no other, a joy with no compare, an excitement that will last a lifetime.
So, don’t fret about adding something new to the celebration. Just invite the risen Christ and all the joy He brings into what you are already doing! Happy Easter friends.
He is Risen!
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- Kids in Worship
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- Discipleship in Intergenerational community
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
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About this Blog
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family and Seedbed