By Featured Guest: Kathy Howard
Rich memories of childhood Easters keep popping up in my mind. I can still feel the cold metal of the folding chair as I sat with my family in the church parking lot waiting for the first rays of the sun to make their appearance. And with the sun, the somber notes of “low in the grave He lay…” became the joyous thunder of “up from the grave He arose (He arose), with a mighty triumph o’er His foes.” After prayer and singing, everyone escaped the chilly air and enjoyed pancakes and sausage in the church fellowship hall.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the impact Easter had on me as a child. I also have wonderful memories of Christmas, but Easter took root in my soul from an early age. Even then, I must have sensed the eternal significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. As parents and grandparents, we have a great opportunity – and God-given responsibility – to make sure our children understand the great truth and power of Easter.
Below are five easy, but memorable, ways to help your children understand the Easter story. Make sure you check out the links for details and more information:
- Make a set of Resurrection Eggs – This is a fun way to “concretely” share the Easter story with your kids. You can purchase a ready-made set, but putting them together with your kids is part of the fun. Here are the instructions for making your own Resurrection Eggs. http://www.kathyhoward.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Resurrection-Eggs.pdf
- Watch a movie together – One great way to start a conversation with your children about the Easter is by watching a movie that portrays the Easter story or illustrates its truths. Several great ones are available. Just choose one that is age-appropriate for the kids in your life. Here are a few suggestions:
Passion of the Christ (teenagers and older)
Jesus of Nazareth – You can rent it on Netflix!
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Here’s some helpful notes to spiritual truths in the movie http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/lion/themes.html
Veggie Tales’ An Easter Carol – http://store.veggietales.com/an-easter-carol-veggietales-dvd.html
Veggie Tales’ Twas the Night Before Easter – http://store.veggietales.com/twas-the-night-before-easter-veggietales-dvd.html
- Attend a Good Friday service or event – Many churches have services on Good Friday to help us remember Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. This is a great opportunity to talk about Jesus’ death and what it accomplished for us. Cochrane, the small town where we lived in Canada, had a “Cross Walk.” Members from all areas of the community met downtown and prayerfully followed the cross as a volunteer carried it through the streets.
- Make Resurrection Cookies – Use this tasty object lesson to teach your kids about the empty tomb. Make them on Saturday night and enjoy them first thing Sunday. Here’s the recipe and how-to’s for Resurrection Cookies. http://www.kathyhoward.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Resurrection-Cookies.pdf
- Experience the Easter Sunrise – Like the women who went to the tomb, be up and ready to greet the first light of Sunday morning. You can do this at an official sunrise service or in your own backyard. Friday was somber. Sunday is a celebration! (And don’t forget the pancake breakfast!)
I’d love to hear about your childhood Easter memories! Also, please share ways you celebrate Easter with your kids and grandkids.