Monday, April 21, 2014

Blessings Bunnies Baskets - How We Celebrate Easter

I have said it before and I'll say it again - I LOVE EASTER! It is my absolute favorite day of the year. We spend the weeks between Christmas (the birth) and Easter (death and resurrection) as a family studying the four books of the gospel specifically, and celebrate His resurrection daily through morning or evening worship and prayer. On Good Friday, we go tech-free, and reflect deeply on the sacrifice that He made. We attend communion service, and we talk to our kids about what His sacrifice really looked like - there's no sugar-coating around here. Our church puts on a community service in the park, and this year we got to witness so many people come to Christ, it was a sob fest on my end. But besides traditional church - do we keep Christ as our focus during all of the Easter craziness?

 1. During the week leading up to Easter this year, the kids and I used a verse a day to tell the Easter story at their level of understanding.

Our verses in order were:

John 1:29
Matthew 21:8-9
Matthew 26:26-29
Matthew 13:12-17
Luke 22:41-44
John 3:16
and Matthew 28:6

On the last day we did Resurrection Rolls, rather than a craft

2. We explain Easter as the birth of the holy spirit, or our heart's birthday, which is why we exchange gifts (baskets)

3. We find symbolism in the bunny
We attend an Easter party at the country club every year, and it is alllllllllllllll about the bunny. This had us stumped until our church presented us with the REAL Easter bunny, who:

  • is white as snow because Jesus takes all sin away (Isaiah 1:18b).
  • is gentle, kind-hearted and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32).
  • has big ears that are quick to listen (James 1:19).
  • has big eyes to look carefully and choose what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
  • has no voice for complaining or arguing (Philippians 2:13).
  • is quiet in prayer, but hop with thanksgiving and rejoicing (Philippians 4:4-6).
  • has big feet to go tell others about Jesus so they can be like Easter bunnies, too (Matthew 28: 19-20).
  • eats what is healthy by filling up on God's word every day (Psalm 119:11).

4. We search for the empty egg
We have an easter egg hunt and leave one egg empty (to represent the empty tomb) with Matthew 28:6 written inside. The kid who finds that egg receives a chocolate cross. Although this year, Publix left it out of my bag, so with a last minute Walgreens run, we gave out a stuffed "Lamb of God" haha!

He was so excited he threw on whatever shoes he could find!

5. We dye eggs to represent that Jesus has washed us white on the inside!

 6. We enjoy true fellowship with different groups of friends and family,
and explain to the kids that this is our "first supper" rather than "last", because we get to start a new year of grace and fellowship since Jesus took away the burden of our sins

 This year we were blessed with a group of 32 friends and neighbors to enjoy supper with in our home. I can think of no better way to spend celebrating the resurrection of our Savior than cooking for and serving a large group of believers and unbelievers alike. Seeing everyone mix and mingle and love on each other, strangers or friends, is true fellowship, and was such a blessing to watch and, I'm sure, a joy in our Saviors eyes.

We are healed by Your sacrifice 
And the life that You gave 
We are healed for You paid the price 
By Your grace we are saved