Easter is my favorite holiday of the year. We sing some of my favorite hymns like: "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," "Hallelujah, What a Savior!" "Up From the Grave He Arose," "He Lives," etc. I have so many memories of early morning services watching the sun rise over Cayuga Lake with my Seneca Community Church family then heading back to church for breakfast and then playing until Sunday School.
It is my favorite holiday because what happened that day about 2000 years ago is what gives me a reason for living - Jesus rose from the dead. He's alive!
With it being my favorite holiday though I don't often prepare for it. I remember when I was in school many of my friends were Catholic and talked about giving up chocolate for Lent. I would be asked what I gave up because they knew that I was religious but I wasn't Catholic and I never gave up anything.
Years later when we lived in Houghton some of my friends gave up stuff for Lent and I decided to try it. I don't remember exactly what I gave up - sweets, eating between meals, something like that. It was a conscious reminder that Easter was coming and I should prepare my heart and it did help me to think about what Christ had done for me more but, with it being food related, I don't know that my motivation was completely pure. I was probably hoping to drop a couple of pounds in the process.
This year as I was thinking about Easter coming and wondering when Ash Wednesday was I wanted to focus our family's attention more on the death and resurrection of Jesus. I searched online and was disappointed. I had found tons of ideas for helping my family get ready for Christmas but few for getting ready for Resurrection Sunday. I did find an idea for a Lenten Tree but I never got around to getting the stuff prepped for it but I would like to do it next year. Last week I found a book called The Very First Easter by Paul Maier at the Manlius Library. I checked it out and read it to the kids. The kids loved the illustrations and it sparked some discussion. Yesterday when I was looking at my blogreader (which I never do, I am so bad at keeping up with blogs, my own and reading others!) I saw a blog about having a purposeful Easter celebration. She recommended a couple of books including the book that we had read from the library, some recipes and a devotional for the week between Palm Sunday and Easter to do with the family. I would recommend that you check it out. We printed the devotional off (it is a pdf) and are planning on doing it as a family starting on Sunday! Would you like to join us? Print it off from the website linked above.
I am so thankful for what Christ did for me. I long for my kids to love Easter like I always have. Do you have any suggestions for making Easter meaningful for your family? I would love to hear about them!