Here are some thoughts:
i) A passover meal on Thursday night
- Wash one another's feet, to remind each other that Jesus washed his disciples' feet and read out John 13:5-17.
- Sit down together to eat the meal. During the meal, we will explain that this was the type of food that was eaten on the night that the Israelites were saved by God and rescued from Egypt. They had to eat it in a rush, which is why the bread had no yeast in it. God commanded them to celebrate the Passover every year in this way, reading Ex 12:24-27.
- After the food, talk about how Jesus celebrated this same meal with his disciples, the night before he died, using some bread and a cup of wine/juice. Read Matthew 26:26-29
I understand that this may annoy some people (who would prefer a more traditional Passover meal), but I hope I have saved the elements that are important, while also accounting for the fact that we will be feeding a 5, 3 and 1 year old on the last night of the school term - so I want to be wise about what can be achieved!
If our children were older, able to stay up later, and not terrified of all DVDs, I think we could also watch Prince of Egypt, to emphasise the great act of redemption that the passover and the exodus was.
ii) Go to church on Good Friday
iii) Easter Saturday
I like the idea, however we have gone and scheduled Mr 6's birthday party on that day, so I doubt there will be much time for reflection! His birthday always falls near Easter, and sometimes it is hard to know where to put the emphasis. [On the year it was on Good Friday it was hard to explain to a 2-year old, that we were going to church and remembering Jesus' death, while also having cake and presents to celebrate Mr 6's birth!]
iv) Easter Sunday
We will not have a day filled with chocolate and bunnies (I'll post about that later). However, on Easter Sunday morning we will reach the last day of our bible readings working through Matthew and read of Jesus' resurrection. I think we will also read Dave the Donkey again (see previous Easter Post).
In our house when we celebrate birthdays, we wake up to balloons and streamers around the house in honour of the special day. On Easter Sunday, we will also wake to balloons and streamers, to celebrate Jesus' being alive again, and because of that, our 'new birth' to eternal life.
I really liked Nicole's idea about a 'Jesus is alive' cake with a smashed open chocolate egg to symbolise the empty tomb. I think we will do that this year too.
Do you have any other ideas for celebrating the Easter weekend with your family?