It’s that time again.
Temperatures are slowly, and I mean s-l-o-w-l-y for those of us in Indiana, starting to rise, Spring Break is just around the corner, and all the kids are dying to get outside and play. Spring is almost here, folks. (And all the Northerners said, “Amen!”)
As much as we look forward to this time of year, there’s one aspect of Spring that I’ve dreaded in the past; Easter. You read that right, Easter. Why in the world would this holiday be a dreaded one, you might ask. Well, I struggled to see how to help our kids differentiate between the excitement they felt over getting an Easter basket, going to Easter egg hunts and parties, wearing special Easter outfits, and all of the fun that comes along with celebrating Spring, and the death and resurrection of Jesus. These are obviously two very different reasons to be excited, though they had somehow been smushed together into one kid-centered, party-filled weekend capped off with a special Sunday morning service. The last thing we wanted was for our children to equate Jesus’ death and resurrection with gifts, parties, and eggs, all of which took the spotlight off Jesus and put in onto them.
As with several other holidays, we have a decision to make: Do we Embrace it, Reject it, or Redeem it? Though possible, rejecting all of the activities that often accompany Easter celebrations would be rather difficult in our culture. Embracing Easter festivities as we’d known them allowed the events of Holy Week and Jesus’ Resurrection, the single most important distinctive of our faith, to be overshadowed by chocolate eggs and big, stuffed bunnies.
We chose to redeem it.
For our family, this meant separating spring fun from Holy Week. We decided to celebrate spring the Saturday before Palm Sunday with spring baskets, egg hunts, themed crafts, games and snacks (This Momma goes Pinterest crazy!). We may have even purchased a few baby chicks a few years ago…but that’s another story. With Palm Sunday comes a shift in focus, though. A shift from celebrating spring, to intentionally studying and meditating on Holy Week. This doesn’t mean the fun is over! There are tons of excellent resources for helping kiddos not just understand, but also get excited about learning about Holy Week. (I’ve included some of our favorites HERE.) For our family, this means doing projects, making crafts, watching videos, and even making special snacks that are all centered on remembering this special week. We also go through a reading guide for family devotions specifically created for this week. For older kids, you may even consider watching The Passion of the Christ with them and discussing it afterward. This separation really helps all of us fix our hearts and minds on worshiping and studying the Risen King, without constantly having to dodge egg and bunny shaped distractions.
One of the ways our church family at Restoration Church is redeeming Easter is by hosting a community wide Eggstravaganza at Southside Park the Saturday before Palm Sunday. We look forward to serving our community by providing a free egg hunt, cookout, and games for families. This will be a super easy way to meet our neighbors and invite them to celebrate our Savior with us at our upcoming Good Friday and Sunday morning services.
May we celebrate Spring with our community well, but may we not invest so much into bunnies and eggs that we miss the opportunity to magnify our Risen Savior this Easter.
- Megan Brewer -