Preparing for Easter

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I love Christmas.  One of the things I love most is that it is celebrated for an entire month.  I love the time of preparation and the focus on Christ’s birth.

But without Easter, Christmas truly is meaningless.  As awesome as it is that God sent his only Son to earth, it is only the first part of the story.  His death on the cross for our sins and the fact that he rose from the dead 3 days later is what gives not just this story, but every life story purpose and meaning. 

And yet it seems Easter gets so little of our focus.  Sure there are Easter baskets and egg hunts, and egg dying and beautiful spring dresses (none of which have anything to do with the true meaning of Easter) but all of that takes place pretty much on Easter. 

I don’t see much preparation and focus for Easter like I do for Christmas.

This year I am going to try to be intentional and spend focused time as a family preparing our hearts for Easter.   I want to carve out some time each week to bring out focus on the cross and on His resurrection.  

So, I’ve done some planning.  I’ve pulled out the Easter board books from the overstuffed bookshelf in the kids room, and plan to set them out in the living room in a basket for the kids to look at and for us to read to them over the next month.  photo

I am planning one craft a week for the entire month of March that focuses on Easter.  My hope is to make things we can then use as decorations around the house.  I’m going to do a paper mosaic of the cross with the kids to hang on our wall the first week, “some stained glass” (tissue paper) window hangings for week two, and I am still hunting down an idea for week 3 (any suggestions?) For week 4, I bought these coloring books from CBD.com (at $1.49 each, I got one for each kid) and we are going to work that week on coloring in the pictures and retelling the story.  And on the week of Easter we are going to make resurrection cookies.   I also bought this book which has some mazes, connect the dots, and other paper projects we can work on throughout the month.

I have a set of resurrection eggs, which I have used in the past, but not really.  I haven’t gone through them day by day with the kids like they are intended.  This year, I have it on the calendar.  We will start on March 24th and do one egg each day, thus retelling the Easter story for 12 days leading up to Easter. 

By Good Friday, I hope that our family will be prepared to truly worship and grieve our sins at the Good Friday service at our church that evening.  It is my favorite worship service of the year, as it is such a precious time of meditation and reflection of Christ’s death on the cross, but in such an intimate and personal way.  Saturday we will most likely have an Easter egg hunt with both sets of grandparents and dye eggs with them as well.  (It’s become a sort of tradition here to do that on Sat with the grands and it always a ton of fun).  In my opinion there is nothing wrong with Easter eggs, it’s just not what it is all about.  And Sunday, we will worship our Lord together as a family at our church as we celebrate His resurrection. 

It is my prayer that by making Easter a month long celebration, we can all more fully internalize the true meaning of not only Easter, but of our life.  We were created to bring glory to God and without comprehending the depth of our sin, the sacrifice of the cross, and Christ’s conquer of death as he rose from the dead, we can’t truly bring Him glory. 

My prayer for my family this Easter is taken from Ephesians 3:16-18.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Do you have any Easter traditions, crafts, ideas, you’d like to share?  Please share in the comments below.  I am always looking for new ideas to incorporate here at the circus and would LOVE to hear from you!

8 comments:

  1. there is a book called Benjamins Box that dove tails with the Resurrection eggs very well. I was thinking of getting out our addornaments, which we didnt use at Christmas and use them for Easter. Goes over 12 names of Jesus.

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  2. Thanks Suzanne.. I must have missed that book when I was rooting through their bookshelf b/c I know my parents bought it for my son a few years back. Will have to hunt it down!

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  3. Thanks for the ideas... I am getting ready to order some things for the little kids to make from oriental trading- if you go in with another family, for very cheap you can make some really cute crafts. I did this at Christmas time....

    You could have a cross that they either nail or pin up papers that their sins are written on- this could get pretty full- build up anticipation and then on easter all the papers could be gone....

    Also, a big part for me to make it really meaningful for the kids is to make sure I am at the cross daily... getting myself right with God. This year, I am excited to use this book... I used the Christmas one, and each day I read a short selection to get me in the Easter mindset (should be all year!) in addition to regular personal quiet time.

    http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Keep-Near-Cross-Experiencing/dp/1433501813/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

    Thanks for sharing Crystal :)))) I usually get to the week before and then freak out and get sad because I wasn't prepared- thanks for reminding me to think ahead!

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  4. sorry to post again- but those resurrection cookies never worked for me, so I found this--- so easy for little hands and easy ingredients, etc... you might like to do this if the cookies flop... :)

    http://moderationrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/04/resurrection-buns.html

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  5. Melanie- what a super idea. I love the way you explain each element and that the marshmellow disappears.

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  6. All good plans! And it has gotten me thinking. What can I do to get us ready?

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  7. That's true. There really is not that much preparation for Easter. You have really cute ideas!! I may have to use a couple!

    I always wanted to do the resurrection cookies!

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  8. I'm going to go downstairs and print off this post. Thanks for getting me thinking...and for all the great ideas!

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