A few years ago I caught the vision of making Easter even more special than Christmas. After all, Jesus’ death and resurrection is the highlight and culmination of everything that Christianity is about. Why should we get all excited about Jesus’ birth and entrance into this world as a little baby and then yawn about the fulfillment of His life’s mission and purpose, not to mention what that sacrifice and offering accomplished for us?
Since that time, I have attempted to make Easter extra special for my family. I bought new Bibles for each child the first year. I got versions for them that would make it easier for each of them to read the Bible themselves. Since then, I have alternated between getting new Bibles, getting Veggie Tales dvd’s, other Christian dvd’s, anything that comes to my attention (by the Spirit’s leading) that seems like it would go along with the message of the life of Christ and His death and resurrection. I put candy in their Easter baskets, too. They get very excited about Easter now.
We make resurrection rolls. We color Easter eggs for fun and have an egg hunt for the little ones. We don’t study the meaning of the word “Easter”. We don’t worship a goddess of fertility. We don’t really even talk much about eggs symbolizing new life. We just have fun and mention many times during the day how thankful we are for Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. The older kids watch “The Passion”. Last year, I had them watch “The Nativity Story” for Easter! Anything about His life story is important when we are celebrating Jesus. And that is what Easter means to us. We celebrate Jesus!
I wrote a very candid post about last Easter if you’re interested in some of the activities we usually do to try to make Easter memorable and Christ-focused. Sometimes I try a little too hard. Or have higher expectations than I should. Or try to do things in my own strength and understanding. You’ll see all of those things in that post. But when I’m weak He is strong.
I hope that this encourages you to focus on Jesus during this spring and Easter season.
We are lightly observing the season of Lent this year. We are not Catholic, but we do believe in fasting and self-examination and preparing our hearts for celebrating Jesus’ life and death.
So I’m incorporating some things that have struck my fancy this year as a way to prepare the hearts of my younger children and get their focus off of the candy and onto the real meaning of Easter – the death and resurrection of Jesus. I wrote about them in this post.
I found out how the early church intended Lent to be observed and why here at this site.
One thing that I really liked was the list of questions we should ask ourselves during this period of self-examination leading up to Easter.
Here it is:
Am I sharing gladly what I have with others, especially the stranger and the poor?
Do I have a gracious and patient attitude with others, especially those who irritate me?
Is it time for a change or a growth in my Bible study and the way I view my faith?
What are the lurking problems, which still plague me?
Am I as thoughtful and forgiving of family as others, or do I take my frustrations out on them?
Do I speak up for the maligned and oppressed, or do I remain silent in order to remain popular?
I thought these were very pertinent questions that would help us to get back on track if we’ve veered off and become self-focused or world-focused instead of Christ-focused. Our relationships are so important. And meditating on these thoughts and keeping them in mind should help us to improve and strengthen our relationships with God and with others.