Easter is just a few weeks away and, with a house filled with a questioning 9-year-old and a know-it-all 12-year-old, I find myself wondering, “How am I to tell the story of Easter this year?” Throughout the Old Testament we see God instructing His people during holy days to tell the next generation what God has done as they celebrated the feasts of the year.
“And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'” Exodus 12: 26-27
God knows that our children will always be full of questions. Our children want to know why we do what we do. Our children, with their preschool inquisitiveness or their tween doubting, want to know why we are doing this whole Easter thing. Walk down the Easter aisle at the grocery story or Michaels and its easy to understand why there are so many questions about Easter. The bunny, the eggs, Jesus, the cross, jelly beans…hmmm. Our commercial world tells a pretty strange version of Easter. Therefore, as we prepare to celebrate Easter—the holiest and most important day of the Christian year—we should be asking ourselves, “How am I going to tell my children the story of Easter?”
I offer the following three suggestions as a starting place.
1. We can tell the story by reading His story.
Set aside 10 minutes a day at breakfast or dinner, and read the Gospels together as a family. Read the stories of the Son of God who came for the sick and the sinners. Tell the stories of His miracles and His teachings. Tell the story of His death and resurrection that we celebrate at Easter.
2. We can tell the story by what we set before their eyes.
As we decorate our door frames or our dining room tables, we create an opportunity to set a story, or visual reminders of a story, before our family’s eyes. These two front doors are telling very different stories.
Use your holiday decorations to prompt the retelling of the story of Easter just like your Nativity scene does during the Christmas season. This can be done with lambs, palms, crosses, and flowers instead of eggs and bunnies.
3. We can tell the story by taking the time to tell our story.
We are a redeemed people of the Lord. If you have accepted the Lord as your Savior, you have a personal story of redemption to share with your family. As we approach Easter, set aside time to share your story with your children. What has the Lord done in your life? What does Easter mean to you? Now I’m not talking nitty-gritty, inappropriate confessionals here, but instead, share who Jesus is to you. What does your personal relationship with Him look like?
It is through hearing our personal stories told that our children will begin to look for their own stories.
I pray the Holy Spirit will fill your hearts and minds with courage, insight, and a fresh desire to tell the story of our Savior to your family in the coming weeks. I would love to hear how you tell the story of Easter in your household. Please leave a comment and encourage others with what you are doing!
Wendy Anderson Schulz is the Director of Family Ministries at The Point Church in Apex, NC. She is the founder of The Celebrated Family, a speaking and writing ministry that aims to equip and encourage parents to grow in and pass on their faith to the next generation.
*Please leave your comments below! How does your family plan to celebrate the true meaning of Easter this year?