Easter All Year Long
I remember as a child, being so excited about Easter. I always got new clothes, including a dress, bonnet, purse, shoes and socks. I also woke up to find a basketful of goodies from the Easter bunny. My favorite were the pastel colored peeps and jellybeans. I also enjoyed coloring the Easter eggs and hunting for them with the other children.
As I matured, I gained an understanding of the real meaning of Easter, and why we celebrate it each year. It is easy these days to get caught up in the fun activities of the day, and forget the history and purpose of this holiday. How can we teach our children and grandchildren about Easter?
Easter ought to be a time of reflection, meditation, and appreciation. These are not easy things to teach children, but it is possible to help them learn about the Savior, Jesus Christ.
The children can do their egg coloring and hunting on Saturday so they can spend their time in worship on Sunday. Coloring books or Easter workbooks can keep them quiet and reflective.
A great gift for their Easter basket would be a book or video about the true meaning of Easter.
Some children have the idea that Easter is a grim holiday, because we talk about when Jesus died. You can sweetly explain that Easter is not a celebration of His death, but of His resurrection. He made it possible for all of us to live again after we die. Because he was God's son, He was able to triumph or win over death, and so can we.
Post the scripture so the children can see: John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Explain to them that his gift to us was what makes Easter special. All other things we receive are just to remind us of Him. The miracle of the atonement is for everyone.
It is easy to get distracted with the secularization of Easter seen in the stores and in the media. By focusing on Jesus and His resurrection, you can have a day free or worldly distractions.
You can go on a walk on Easter and focus on the rebirth of nature that happens in spring. If you live where there are four seasons, it is often very easy to see new life in flowers, plants and trees after a cold winter (unless it is still snowing). I have fond memories of visiting Salt Lake Temple Square in spring and seeing all the beautiful new tulips they had planted.
Going to church on Easter Sunday is a way of showing gratitude to God for all that He has given us. Many people feel that it is just another holiday, and spend their time camping, playing sports or participating in other activities. It is good to teach your children faith and self discipline by encouraging them to do what they feel is right.
Another important thing that can be taught during Easter is service to others. By preparing a special meal or baked goods and taking flowers or a gift to someone will cheer them up and remind them of the gift Jesus gave to us all. Encourage the children to do something special for someone who is not expecting it. Giving service on Easter can become a family tradition and leave a lasting impression.
Singing happy spring songs and hymns or listening to inspiring music can be part of Easter also. Express your feelings of love for your children on this special day and share your feelings about Jesus.
Scripture reading together can inspire and help children understand more about Jesus' activities before, during and after he was resurrected:
- Matthew 28:1-20
- Mark 15:42-47
- Mark 16:1-20
- Luke 24:1-53
- John 19:38-42
- John 21:1-25
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© 2012 Elayne