What would you do if you walked into church on Sunday and saw the Easter Bunny sitting in the front row? Maybe you would feel like I do when I see Santa kneeling at the manger. But the truth is, Santa IS a part of my Christmas and the Easter Bunny IS a part of my Easter.
The question is…
How do we help our children enjoy the fantasy figures of these holidays while deeply experiencing the truth of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus?
The truth is, Easter can be a time of confusion for children as they get the secular and biblical aspects of the Easter celebration confused. So how do you help them understand the true meaning of Easter?
Children will mirror what you model to them. Pay attention to what words come out of your mouth.
You need to get to bed early because the Easter bunny is coming in the morning? (Suggestion: You need to get to bed early so we can get up early to celebrate that Jesus is Alive.)
And then there are those conversations that take place in the car on the way to church…
Fix your hair.
Keep your new shoes clean.
No more Easter candy until after church
Be ready to leave church right after the service, the ham is in the oven.
We have a reservation for dinner at noon.
May I suggest the following while you are in the car on the way to church Easter morning:
- Let your child know that you are excited about what he/she will experience at the “Jesus is Alive” celebration that will take place in his/her classroom that morning.
- Teach your child an Easter tradition. People in the front of the car say “Christ is risen.” People in the back seat respond, “Christ is risen indeed.”
- Have family members finish this phrase “Because Jesus is alive….” (I will live with him forever, he hears my prayers, he protects me…)
- Have someone pray in the car giving thanks that Jesus is Alive!
- As you drive into the parking lot say with enthusiasm. “Are you ready? Let’s go celebrate- Jesus is Alive!”
Enjoy the Easter bunny, the candy, the colored eggs, the new clothes, the Easter dinner. But let your conversation be filled with the excitement of the risen Savior. As your heart is focused on the joy of a risen Savior your kids will catch your heart and celebrate the risen Savior with you.
May your family experience a blessed Easter.
Written by Bonnie Aldrich, Children’s Pastor