Life in Pictures is a photographic journal of things we’ve been doing lately.
At the start of Easter week, I had no plan for how our family would celebrate, beyond hosting a lunch for some of our church family on Easter Sunday, and some new books about the Easter true story which I had bought a few weeks back and stashed away.
And I felt a little paralysed by not being prepared.
The true story of Easter is so weighty, so deep, so important – and I didn’t feel ready to tell it.
I thought I needed a fancy plan, bells and whistles, to bring the story to life in our home, and to counteract the pervasiveness of chocolate and bunnies.
Even though we know and trust in the truths of Easter all year round, it is a joy to join other Christians during Easter week to remember – specifically and purposefully – this true story.
Yet somehow, Easter seems more difficult to frame than Christmas. At Christmas, there is advent, the time of waiting, and it climaxes with a birth, God breaking into this world. Easter ends with another kind of birth, but there is a death to get through first. A death that can’t be overlooked because it’s the source of life.
I think part of my paralysis was not knowing how to approach the subject of Easter with my children, because the Christian story of Easter is so very far removed from the world’s version.
And also, I had taken the joy out of the celebration by thinking I needed to perform.
I scoured the internet for ideas, and I used some of them.
But I discovered, as the week went on, that all I really needed was a willingness to share with my children.
Whenever I read one of the gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection, I get a lump in my throat and, often, tears in my eyes. After the darkness, comes this light-filled, earth-shattering, everything-changing moment. And this joy, this breaking open of everything to show us the One who sets us free, was what I wanted them to grasp in their hearts. It is freedom, and joy, and light.
In the end, our Easter week involved reading lots of books, including making our way through the Easter story in our children’s Bible, making things, and enjoying God’s beautiful creation.
We made a Holy Week calendar (inspired by The Domestic Notebook). Each day, we took a small part of the Easter story and made a poster with a simple craft, starting with Palm Sunday and working through Jesus turning over tables in the temple, Jesus teaching in the temple, Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, the last supper, the cross, the tomb, and the resurrection. Sophie loved doing a daily craft; in fact, she wanted to dive right in and do all the days at once! I had to explain that we would take our time over the week to reflect on this true story of true stories.
On Thursday, we shared a last supper meal together. We made hot cross buns on Good Friday. I made a challah loaf on Easter Saturday and we shared it to remember that Jesus’s broken body was in the tomb.
There were plenty of outdoors adventures too. The bluebells at Leigh Woods were stunning.
There are more ideas and resources for celebrating the true Easter story with children on my Easter Pinterest page. I recommend Faith at Home for some lovely ideas about building Easter family traditions.