Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications
Take a minute and think about how you prepare for and celebrate Easter. Now compare that with how you prepare for and celebrate Christmas. If you are like me, there is a great discrepancy between the two!
Maybe it is because one deals with a baby and new birth while the other deals with agony, tremendous suffering, and death. Yet Easter also speaks of new life, eternal life that comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
As you prepare to celebrate Easter this year, these ideas will help make it more meaningful and memorable as you meditate on this amazing miracle. May God give you opportunities to share it with your families (especially your grandchildren)!
Make It Full of Meaning
From decorations to celebrations, try to tie it all to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. May there never be a question in your grandchildren’s minds about Easter’s true meaning. It is not just about spring, dying eggs, bunnies, and chicks.
Consider discussing one of the great “I Am” names of Jesus each day leading up to Easter. There are many Lent activities you can do with your grandchildren.
Over the days leading up to Easter, as you read through the various gospel accounts from Palm Sunday to Resurrection, take note of the items mentioned. Have the grandchildren find that item or draw it on paper. If the objects are small enough, they can add them to a plastic egg, making their own set of Resurrection eggs. Each day as they add the new object, they can review the Easter account.
Most children like to see things so be sure to show pictures, a video, or act out parts of the story. Include them in the reenactments even videoing them. They may even want to help create costumes and scene backdrops to go with their drama. John chapters 12 and 18-20 are good ones to read aloud for ideas.
Do Significant and Memorable Things
Passover is the Jewish event that celebrates God passing over the Jewish homes during the last of the ten plagues. A brief review of that story and the punishment that the Egyptian nation suffered for holding the Jews in bondage would be great to include. While Moses delivered the Jewish nation from bondage, Jesus would deliver us from our sins through His death and resurrection. Holding a Seder meal or Passover meal would be great to do with the grandchildren. Be sure to share about the Last Supper Jesus had with His followers and that communion is what the church does today.
Think about the traditions you grew up with connecting them to the real meaning of Easter. If you choose to dye eggs, use this time to talk about how you celebrated Easter as a child. Share your favorite memories.
One of my favorites was getting a new outfit for Easter. A way I could use that memory to point to Jesus is to tell about how they gambled for Jesus’s clothes while he hung on the cross. Also, those who believe in Jesus will one day get a new robe – a robe of righteousness.
Another example would be an egg hunt. Stress that while finding eggs brings much joy, how much more joy did the women feel when they found the tomb empty? Placing scripture verses or important Easter story words along with the reference on slips of paper and hiding them inside the egg along with a treat is another way. Look at and discuss the scriptures later.
One year, we painted rocks with Easter symbols. First, we went on a walk to find the rocks in a dry creek. We talked about why we were choosing a rock – made the connection to the stone that was rolled in front of the tomb. The grandchildren loved it. Pinterest has instructions on what kind of paints or markers to use as well as how to heat them in the oven to preserve them.
Do Not Forget to Focus on the Miracle
View as a family an age-appropriate movie or show. Some examples are The Jesus Film, The Chosen series, or The Passion of the Christ. Have everyone share how it made them feel.
Be sure to attend special services like Palm Sunday, Good Friday, sunrise services, and Easter. If you cannot attend together, use FaceTime or the Marco Polo app to talk to your grandchildren later and hear their thoughts.
There are also great children’s books out there. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Forever Falls by Glen Keane
- Benjamin’s Box by Melody Carlson
- The Resurrection Eggs in Rhyme and Song by Miss PattyCake
- For God So Loved the World by Dandi Daley Mackall
- Wherever You Go, I Want You to Know by Melissa Kruger
- His Grace is Enough by Melissa Kruger
For your older grandchildren, challenge them to write a first-hand account as if they were present at Palm Sunday, The Last Supper, or Jesus’ garden arrest, crucifixion, or resurrection. What would they have seen, heard, or felt? Younger ones could draw a picture instead.
Spend Time Meditating on What It Means Personally
As you allow yourself to feel Jesus’ agony, suffering, and pain, you will be better able to share it with your grandchildren.
Place yourself at the jubilation of Palm Sunday, then on to The Last Supper, the Mount of Olives, the arrest in the garden, and the death on the cross. Feel the great sense of loss, all hope dashed to pieces, and the immense fear that caused Peter to deny Christ and all to hide in the upper room. Such sadness and despair, doom and gloom.
Sunday dawns to a glorious new reality- “Jesus is Risen! He is Risen indeed!” Joy unspeakable returns as many join with the women rejoicing that He is no longer in the tomb but resurrected! Do you feel the great release of despair with the return of hope? Consider sharing it with your grandchildren.
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” [1 Corinthians 11:23-26]
God calls us to remember His death. God never asked us to remember His birth yet we prepare and celebrate it in big ways. What will you do to make the most of Easter this year?
Editor’s Note: Do not miss next week’s blog – it will have ideas to help your church equip grandparents to share the Easter story very intentionally with their grandchildren.
2 thoughts on “Making the Most of the Easter Season”
I too celebrate Easter enthusiastically with my 10 grandkids. It all started 30 years ago with my young children. I ran a Resurrection Fair in our church both for the children and to help parents focus on Christ at Easter in their own families. I use many of those ideas with my grandchildren now and add new ones each year. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas. Each year I post ideas on FB hoping it encourages others. This week my grandkids will be making our empty tomb w grass seed and stain glass window.
Easter has become my favorite and most important holiday.
Thank you for sharing! What a blessing to your family and to our Lord.