I’ve been researching ways to prepare our hearts for Easter and keep Jesus at the center of our celebrations, and my mind is buzzing with ideas! There are so many creative ways to help our families celebrate the true meaning of Easter.
Also, Brittany from Equipping Godly Women has 50 Unique Ideas for What to Give Up for Lent.
But as I was putting together this list for families with kids, I kept thinking, I need to prepare my own heart before I try to help my family with theirs. So I brainstormed these ideas for myself, and I’d love to hear your suggestions as well:
- Read a daily devotional from 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. I did this one year and it infused the holiday with so much meaning, as I realized the richness of Jesus’ sacrifice in a whole new way.
- Practice fasting during Lent (yes, even if you’re not Catholic). Or alternately, prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to work His fruit in your life week by week. You can also study the seven deadly sins for each week of Lent and ask God to remove the “leaven” of sin in your life. Give up the seven deadly sins for Lent? Yeah, that’s something I’m going to try next year.
- On Palm Sunday, learn about Hosanna and journal your prayer to God. Maybe even have a celebration dance party with God, rejoicing in His salvation and deliverance.
- Use conversation cards to center dinner discussion on the cross. I love these prompts, and they can definitely be adapted for little ones as well.
- Spend your quiet time during Holy Week following a reading plan about the story of Easter. Look closely at the details of each scene, and ask the 5 W’s of each passage.
- Prepare a messianic seder and reflect on our True Passover. I haven’t done this yet, but I would love to start! So much rich meaning and symbolism in each part of the meal.
- Attend a Maundy Thursday and/or Good Friday service at a local church. This is probably one of my favorite Easter traditions. There’s something somber and weighty about Good Friday, and I think it’s important that we spend time gazing at the tragedy on the cross before we jump to the celebration of Resurrection Sunday.
- Spend Good Friday meditating on Jesus’ sacrifice and confessing sins. Traditionally in Romanian culture, both Orthodox and Evangelical Christians fast from all food and water from morning until 3pm to mourn the tragedy of the cross. My parents encouraged us as children to fast as long as we can, and I still do a variation of this when I can (i.e., nonpregnant, non-nursing years).
- Watch The Passion of the Christ with your spouse. Yes, it’s gruesome and sometimes I shut my eyes because it’s too grotesque, but it’s also an important reminder of the reality that Jesus endured on the cross. For me. For you. For all of us. After the movie, spend some time in prayerful reflection, confessing sins and thanking God for sending His Son as a sacrifice for us.
- Use Easter-themed tableware as a reminder to thank God for Jesus. My friend Jamie also uses a white tablecloth on Easter Sunday to remind herself and her family that Jesus washed their sins white as snow. What a great idea!
What do you do (by yourself or with your family) to prepare to celebrate Easter? And how do you keep your celebrations focused on Jesus?
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