In the midst of quarantines and shelter-in-place orders, celebrating Easter will be different than ever before. Worship services may be online, family gatherings may be smaller and meals may be simpler. Yet, even amid this shocking shift that comes with constant changes, the message of the cross and the truth that Jesus has defeated death never changes.
No matter what happens in the world around us, we celebrate Jesus and the hope of the Resurrection through it all. Pandemic or no pandemic.
Still, many of us may be missing our beloved Easter traditions and find ourselves scrambling for ways to make the day memorable and to encourage our families to honor Jesus' willing sacrifice on our behalf from home. How do we prepare our hearts and minds for the significance of the cross and empty tomb without gathering together with family, friends or other members of our church, and how do we communicate the eternal significance of the day to people around us?
Here are a few traditions that focus on the cross and the Resurrection. Choose a few that fit your life.
1. Have a Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt
Jesus is the light of the world, shining through any darkness. An excellent way to represent that timeless truth is through a glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt. Put small glow sticks or flameless tea lights in plastic eggs, then hide them outside or in the house and give everyone a flashlight for the hunt. Make it personal by marking plastic eggs with letters of each child's name and tell them to find eggs that spell out their name. Make a treasure map of your backyard that shows where eggs are hidden. Give each child a map and let them follow clues.
For an Easter egg hunt with older children, fill eggs with dollars and quarters. Or fill them with tokens such as construction paper crosses that children can redeem for prizes. Label each item in your basket of prizes with the number of tokens it costs. Some accessible and affordable gift ideas include glow bracelets or necklaces, pencils, markers, stickers, books, CDs, puzzle books or a new Bible.
2. Create Easter Care Packages
During this time, many individuals are totally isolated. Consider bringing joy and love to those who are alone by creating care packages with the family. Have the kids include homemade art or decorate eggs. Draw out encouraging Bible verses to include and send a homemade treat. Pray that each package would bless those who receive it, and deliver them to those in your community who may be spending Easter alone such as elderly relatives and neighbors or people suffering from sickness.
3. Make Resurrection Cookies
There are multiple variations of the "resurrection cookies" recipe including "resurrection rolls," and all are fun and tasty ways to creatively engage the family and show them the power of the empty tomb. These baked goodies go into the oven completely dense but are totally hollow after they finish baking, just like Jesus' tomb after He rose on the third day.
Easter 2020 will no doubt be drastically different than previous Easter celebrations, but that doesn't mean it can't be memorable and meaningful. Try incorporating these activities into your Easter Sunday activities, in addition to family Bible time and tuning into your church's service online. By filling the day with intentional fun and staying focused on the meaning and message of Easter and the hope of Jesus' Resurrection, your family can enjoy one of its most significant Easters yet.
Ruth Schenk has been a contributing writer for The Southeast Outlook as well as other newspapers and books for over 40 years. Her favorite adventure is teaching village health in unreached communities around the world.
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