Tuesday, March 22, 2011

He Is Risen- Celebrating Easter

"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you...For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures..."- 1 Corinthians 15:1,3
Easter is by far my favorite holiday to celebrate. I love this time to remember Jesus' death and resurrection. It's so sad how quickly I forget and drop my gaze off of Jesus. Sometimes winter feels so long, I put my mind towards the details of daily life, or I even pour myself into striving (ouch) to live out His Word and I lose sight of His great love. I need to have regular seasons where I'm pointed back to the good news of Jesus Christ. And Easter is always so timely. I'll share in the next several blogs what Easter looks like in our home.
Our biggest emphasis is on Easter week itself, but here are some ways we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus all month leading up to Easter:

1) We watch Christ-centered Easter videos. Our favorites: The story of Jesus for Children (you can watch this free online in many different languages!), Miss Pattycake's Eggstravaganza,  The Animated Passion Trilogy, Veggie Tales Easter Carol

2) We read children's story Bible accounts- This year, we are reading out of the ESV Children's Ilustrated Bible which is actual ESV scripture with lots of illustrations (LOVE IT!) But in the past we have used the Jesus Loves Me Storybook Bible as our main account. We'll also read through and look at fun pictures in The Big Picture Story Bible and Jesus Storybook Bible.

-We love to act out the stories we read and put on a show for Daddy or family/friends who come over- For Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, we wave swiffer dusters (as palm branches) and throw our coats down to make a path while shouting "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" (and we giggle- a lot)

3) We talk about what we are celebrating and why Easter mattersWe ask "What is Easter? Why did it have to be Jesus that died? Why did he have to die? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus rose from the dead?" 

4) To point out how Jesus fulfills the Passover lamb we read earlier in the year in Exodus, we go back and reread in Exodus and then look at the sacrifices for sin in Leviticus/Numbers. We excitedly talk about how Jesus is the true is the lamb of God who fulfills the full requirement and takes away our sins! This year I found a book called Discovering Jesus in Exodus by Susan Hunt to help us walk through it.

5) We read Easter books from Grandma and Gigi: Benjamins Box, The Very First Easter, The Lamb

6) We make Easter "resurrection cookies". This entire process provides opportunities to talk though the gospel as we make them (using ingredients to spark different points). The conversation even extends into the "baking" and eating experience! Here's a link to the blog that I got the recipe and explanation from: allhomemadecookies. com

7) We color coloring pages and draw pictures of the cross (Golgotha scene), the empty tomb, Jesus risen, etc.

8) Andy and I read the gospels together. A few years ago we read Luke. Last year the church we were in was going through Matthew together. This year we just read through Mark and are currently reading through John.

9) We love to listen to sermons: There is something amazing about hearing pastors passionately share the good news that spurs us on and brings this wonderful truth afresh in our hearts.
This season I've been re-listening to the March/April 2010 Matthew series we went through at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

10) I loved my Nancy Guthrie advent devotional, so this year I'm going to read through her lent devotional. It's called Jesus, Keep me Near the Cross.  It's a compilation of excerpts from sermons and teachings of teachers/preachers from our current day and throughout church history (some are: John Owens, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Tim Keller,  and John Piper). Really neat.

I'll share more in my next few blogs about Easter eggs, some of our favorite sermons, our favorite hands on activities, and what our Easter week and Easter morning look like.

No comments: