Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter - part 3

I have looked at how we prepare for Easter with our family, and considered some resources you might like to use at Easter time. This post gives some ideas as to what you could do on the Easter weekend itself.

i) A Passover meal on Thursday night

We have an extremely simplified version of a Passover meal on Thursday night. We:
  1. Wash one another's feet, to remind each other that Jesus washed his disciples' feet and read out John 13:5-17.
  2. Sit down together to eat a meal. During the meal, which includes include roast lamb with herbs, unleavened bread and juice/wine, we 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.
  3. After the food, we 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; reading Matthew 26:26-29.
So, in having this meal together, we will remember how God saved his people the Israelites through the Passover and the exodus and we remember how Jesus has also saved us by dying for us at Easter time.

ii) Go to church on Good Friday

This may sound obvious, but I have observed many Christians (myself included in the past) don't seem to bother with church on both Good Friday and Easter Sunday. However, you really do appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus' death more by pausing on Good Friday, going to church and hearing the accounts of Jesus' death read out. It is a time for reflection on the seriousness of our sin and the price Jesus had to pay.

Our church has developed a tradition of having an event for internationals on Good Friday, usually lunch after church and a bushwalk. For people coming from a culture that has no Christian background - the idea of a holiday for Good Friday is very odd, and it's even stranger that the city shuts down completely on that day. Why not use that day to welcome others?

iii) Easter Saturday

Noel Piper (in Treasuring God in Our Traditions) suggests that Easter Saturday should be a day of waiting, with not too much excitement or fun things, to get an idea of how the disciples felt knowing that Jesus was dead and buried and unsure as to what would happen next. I like this idea.

iv) Easter Sunday

Go to church again - celebrate that Christ is risen!

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.

You could have a little egg hunt on Sunday morning. We explain to our kids that "an empty egg, an empty tomb - they both remind us of good news" (thanks to Veggie Tales, see last week's post)

You could also have a 'Jesus is alive' cake with a smashed open chocolate egg to symbolise the empty tomb.


I hope you have a lovely Easter, remembering Christ's death for us and celebrating his resurrection.

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