It’s no secret that I love to celebrate holidays. Easter and Christmas are the “biggies,” but I love celebrating Valentine’s Day and other “Hallmark Holidays” as well. When the kids were younger, we even celebrated the first day of each season. On the first day of fall, we would have some sort of nuts and apples for a snack. On the first day of winter, we’d drink hot chocolate. Yes, sometimes it was 80 degrees in Texas on the first day of winter, but we had hot chocolate anyway! On the first day of spring, we’d eat dinner outside. And on the first day of summer, we’d have ice cream for dinner.
Is it possible that I really just love any excuse to have a special snack? Sure. But I also truly believe traditions and celebrations bind families together and assure children that, no matter what is going on and changing around them, some things stay the same. Children find comfort and security in that, even before they can articulate it. I believe adults find comfort and security in that, too! Every person, no matter the age or personality, longs to feel part of a group or family and to find comfort and security in predictability.
Celebrations and traditions add value in many ways, such as passing along family values and beliefs. At Easter, many families attend worship together and eat a big brunch, often having the same foods each year. They sit and visit, sharing stories with younger generations.
Easter also gives parents a great opportunity to explain to kids that Jesus was crucified on a cross, that His body was placed in a tomb, and that He rose again. This is the most significant truth from the Bible! Remembering and celebrating Easter with our kids each year binds families together, communicates comfort and security to children, passes down family values, and reminds them of the TRUTH that Jesus died on the cross and rose again. This is one of the first steps to a child’s understanding his or her own need for a relationship with Jesus! In addition to reading the account from each of the four books Gospels–Matthew, Mark, Luke, John–parents can help kids understand the meaning of Easter with John 3:16.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
To be sure, the real celebration is the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. That He is alive! And because of that, all who believe in Him can live with peace, hope, and joy in relationship with God. So, what about the bunnies and the eggs? If Easter is all about Jesus, is it okay to celebrate with bunnies and eggs, too? Well, that’s a personal question that each family has to answer. I can’t tell you what is right or wrong for you and your family. I can only tell you what we did.
Each year, we gathered with neighbors for an egg hunt and Easter party, with sack races and an egg toss competition. Our family dyed and decorated boiled eggs with Paas tablets and vinegar, like Mac and I had done with our families growing up. The kids hunted plastic eggs that the Easter Bunny had hidden and enjoyed other treats and goodies that the Easter Bunny left in their baskets. We also read lots of books about Jesus and the empty tomb. We read the story from the Bible and discussed why Jesus died on the cross and that He rose from the dead. We explained that bunnies and eggs symbolize new life, and Easter celebrates that Jesus gives us new life. Ephesians 2:10 reads,
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Our family’s vision statement is as follows: LOVE GOD, HIS HOUSE, AND HIS WAYS. We felt that all of the bunnies and eggs–when combined with Bible reading and teaching about Jesus–didn’t take us away from, but drove us toward our family vision. That’s how Mac and I decided that celebrating the resurrection with bunnies and eggs could work for our family. If you feel that bunnies and eggs are a distraction for you and your family, and you’d rather celebrate only the resurrection of Jesus, we say, “You go, girl!” That’s a decision for your family to make, based on your own God-given, faith-fueled family vision. You do you, I’ll do me, and we’ll cheer each other on along the way!
By the way, I have a group of “kids” ages 23 to 30 coming over on Saturday to celebrate Easter. The kids have invited a few friends to join us. And you can bet that there will be egg dying, egg hunting, and lots of candy. Maybe even a hula hoop contest and an egg toss! Mac will do the thing he always does and write a secret message with white crayon on an egg and leave it in the cup of dye. He’ll tell one of the kids to take it out and read the secret message. And the kids will laugh at his corny dad joke like they do each year. And we’ll talk about how he used to do that when the kids were little and how he does it every year. Family ties will grow a little stronger. We’ll all find comfort and security in the predictability of the tradition. And then we’ll head to church–with dye still on our fingers–to worship together and be reminded of the fact that God sent Jesus to save us. That Jesus died on the cross, but the grave couldn’t hold Him. He is alive today. And all who believe in Him and receive His forgiveness will be saved.
I have wonderful memories of celebrating Easter with my sisters, parents, grandparents, and other family members. I do hope my kids will have some, too. I also know that I need the designated weekend to pause, to remember that Jesus saved me. And I do believe that’s worth celebrating.
We would love to celebrate with you at Lake Hills Church. Please visit LHC.org for in-person and virtual service details.