Flipping through Instagram nonchalantly this afternoon I ran across the breaking news about the bomb the U.S. just dropped on Afghanistan. It seems like you just can’t escape bad news and catastrophic events these days.
Which makes Easter that much more poignant.
The Thursday before Easter feels, to me, like the real start of the Easter celebration. Tonight we remember Jesus having His last supper and instituting the Lord’s Supper that we celebrate today. From there, the events of the last hours of Jesus’ life commence. It’s a solemn weekend – until Sunday, of course, when the entire world breaks out in song!
What has struck me this year is the need an Easter weekend. A time that is specifically set aside to quit looking at what’s happening around us and focus on eternity.
While ultimately our sins are the reason we need a Resurrection Sunday, the weekend is not about us. It’s about Jesus – His incomprehensible love and sacrifice for us. Not because He had some compulsory need to die a gruesome death, but because He wanted us to spend eternity with Him.
Being purposeful in remembering what this weekend is about has become progressively more important to me as I’ve gotten older. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in world events (especially when they’re so horrible) and in raising kids (even if they’re adorable) that the focus can be completely shifted from Jesus and the empty tomb to a busy schedule with no time to just sit and think.
World events – and simply life in general – can easily squelch all the solemnity and even all the joy out of this weekend if we let it. Remembrance must be intentional or it simply won’t happen.
We don’t have it all together (admittedly, I just spent an hour in my room, alone, while Brian watched the kids because I just needed to be separated from them for awhile!), but here are the few things we plan (I use that term loosely knowing anything can happen with 3 kids!) to do as a family this weekend to intentionally put the focus off ourselves and back on Jesus:
- Taking the whole family to our church’s annual communion/remembrance service this evening. Usually just Brian and I go, but Brian wanted all three kids there tonight, so we’re going to give it a shot!
- Tomorrow, I’m going to do some Easter crafts with the kids (if you know me, you know this is NOT in my comfort zone!).
- Tomorrow evening, I’m going to put together our first mini-Passover. We absolutely love all the symbolism of Passover and the correlation of Passover and Easter, so I found a little booklet online that walks Christian families how to do “Passover” on the miniature with their children. Can’t wait!
- Sunday morning, we head to church before 7am for the best service of the year: the sunrise service! Yes, we will have tired, possibly cranky children – but some of my best memories are from early morning sunrise services growing up. I love passing that on to our kids (and last year we missed it due to the stomach bug – ugh!). We’ll be at church all morning and it’s going to be awesome.
- Sunday afternoon is when we’ll do our Resurrection Egg hunt, so that our kids get to do the traditional egg hunt, but we also get to reinforce the Easter story again.
I played very specific music all morning long for the boys and I while I worked, too. There’s just something about music that completely sets the stage for any event (here’s a good one).
Whatever you do with your family, I hope you are able to take some time and specifically remember what Jesus did – for you. It’s almost a breath of fresh air to be able to take the focus off of “here” for a few days. To take the genuinely awful events of this earth and put them back into perspective in view of eternity and what awaits us.
Come quickly, Jesus.