Many years ago, when I was working on an Easter talk early one morning, my son woke up and came down to see me. He was obviously reading some of my talk and asking me about it. I must have written something about the hollow Easter eggs being just like Jesus’ empty tomb. He said he liked the ‘hollow eggs that were full of God’s love!’.
Easter = God’s love
Easter is full of God’s love. In fact, in the Bible in John 3:16-17 (The Message version) it says “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.”
At Easter we celebrate what God did, all for love. Nothing we do or say can ever separate us from the love of God. We just need to believe and ask him to be part of our lives. For me Easter is one of the most significant celebrations in the year.
When my kids were growing up, we wanted them to know that Easter is about God’s love; not to just be about chocolate and bunnies. Chocolate was (and still is) very much a part of Easter for our family, but we would often give them a non-chocolate present such as a Christian book or video as well. We would also usually attend a Good Friday and Easter Sunday church service as a family. Hot cross buns were a Good Friday morning tea tradition, and were a great time to have a discussion about the cross on the buns and God’s love in sending Jesus.
Celebrating as a family
A tradition that I started with my children when they were tiny is the making of Resurrection Cookies or Easter Story Cookies as a family the night before Easter Sunday. As each ingredient is added, a little bit of the Easter story is explained and a Bible passage read. Then the cookies are placed in the warm oven. The oven is turned off, sealed with tape and left overnight. ( Just like Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb and the tomb was sealed.) The next morning on Easter Sunday the oven is unsealed and everyone gets to try the cookies. As they are meringues, they are hollow inside and we can proclaim that Jesus is risen!
One year we read Amon’s Adventure: A Family Story for Easter by Arnold Ytreeide, which was set in the time of Jesus and led up to his crucifixion and resurrection. The main character, a boy, gets to witness much of the final weeks of Jesus’ life on earth. It has 28 chapters so you could spread them over the 46 days of Lent (counting Sundays) or read 1 a night for the 4 weeks leading up to Easter. This Easter book had many of the characters from Arnold Ytreeide’s Christmas books that we read for many years.
These are just a few ideas of how we celebrated Easter in our family. Check out more ideas to use in the week leading up to Easter. The season of Easter in the church actually lasts for 50 days, so here are some ideas for continuing the Easter celebration.
No matter what you do with your family to celebrate Easter; remember God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to put the world right again for all who believe. When you crack into hollow eggs this Easter, remember like the tomb, they are empty but “filled with God’s love” for all of us.
Jillian has been married to Murray for over 25 years and they have 2 young adult children. She has been blogging at www.feedmyfamilyblog.com for over 8 years. On the blog, she writes about feeding the family in body, mind, heart & soul. Jillian also enjoys speaking at women’s groups & conferences about parenting and nurturing children’s faith.