The celebration of the resurrection of Christ is on the horizon…how are you preparing?
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:17
Easter Sunday is coming on April 4—less than two months away. How much time will you spend preparing and focusing on the most important celebration of the entire year?
Many of us begin thinking about Christmas months before December 25 arrives. We purchase gifts weeks and even months ahead of time. Many decorate their homes immediately after Thanksgiving (and last year, in the midst of the pandemic, many did it even earlier).
But the idea of decorating our homes weeks ahead of Easter feels a bit unusual, doesn’t it?
Yet the Apostle Paul wrote (above), our faith is futile if Christ was not raised from the dead.
I’m certainly not suggesting we make Easter—I prefer calling it “Resurrection Day”—equal to Christmas in terms of consumerism. But I do think we should make it much more than a one-day event.
For me, one practical solution to creating more anticipation for Easter has been observing Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday next week. You could say that Lent is to Easter what Advent is to Christmas … a way of focusing for six weeks on what God has done for us. Is that too much for what He’s done for us?
The more I’ve learned about Lent, the more it has become a deeply meaningful part of my yearly traditions. Lent gets me excited because of its intense Christ-focus—and even more, its Cross-focus. I don’t attend what would be called a “high church.” But in my love for tradition and remembrance and pulling what is beautiful from history, I have rediscovered a richness in the church calendar. I love that, after the meditations of Christmas and the mystery of “God with us,” I can keep my mind and body tethered to walking with God as I then ruminate on the pinnacle event that changed everything: the Cross.
When our children were little, I wanted to make more of Easter, I knew it was the most important holiday, but I didn’t know what to do. I was so busy and overwhelmed with our six that even though I had good intentions I never accomplished what I’d wished for at Easter. After our kids left home, I finally had the time and the freedom to be able to think creatively, “What would I have liked to have had, when I was a mom, raising kids?”
The answer was a way to teach my children the supreme value of Jesus and to disciple them in the wonderful mysterious clues God left for us to find in the Old Testament. Kids love treasure hunts and parents do too. So take advantage of the season of Lent to invest in growing faith in your kids.
- Make Ash Wednesday a memorable day in your family. Go to services if your church has them. If your children are old enough talk this week about giving something up, if you want to try this, to teach sacrifice as an expression of thanksgiving to Christ for His sacrifice for us. It doesn’t have to be food. It can be media, reading news, spending for certain things, or it could be adding a kindness or service to others into your routine for the six weeks of Lent.
- Teach your children the historic Biblical stories that predict the coming of Jesus as Messiah. If you need help use the link below to see an easy to use flip calendar with six of those crucial stories and daily verses to read during Lent.
- Begin decorating your home in a way that sends a signal to your family and neighbors that Easter is coming and that this holiday is important. If you’re serious about this, this will mean moving away from bunnies and chicks in your decorations. I created a countdown banner for families that is beautiful and helps everyone focus on the season at the link below. It’s an easy way to start decorating.
- The colors of the cross and the Resurrection are not pastels but are red for His blood, white for His purity, and gold for His victory. Think of creative ways to add these meaningful colors to your décor. I’ve just started building a spring tablescape ahead of Lent. On an old board I use as a tray I’ve tied bundles of dogwood branches laded with buds and placed them down the center of my tray. Interspersed are candlesticks and candles. On Palm Sunday I will lay some palm fronts among the branches. On Good Friday I will sprinkle red rose petals and on Resurrection Sunday I’ll remove the palms and red petals and add lots of white roses. I’ll be posting photos on Instagram @everthinehome if you’d like to see them. I’d love to meet you there!
This year I encourage you to get engaged with Easter. Spend some energy and time just as you would getting ready for a wedding, a birthday party, and of course Christmas. When we anticipate something important, we prepare to celebrate fully and exuberantly. Unless you grow anticipation by investing in planning for Easter it will continue to be just another Sunday.
In His Word
Pray through 1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Thank God for what He has done for you.
In Your Life
What have you done to celebrate Easter in the past? What could you do differently this year?
Invite the Holy Spirit to open your eyes, to see with wonder and awe the miracles of Easter for you, that Jesus died for you as if you were the only one.
To help you and your family focus on Easter, I’ve created a collection called the Journey to Easter Collection. It includes a fabric double-sided banner, a flip-style calendar for Lent, another one for Holy Week, and a third set of devotional readings for Resurrection Day.
In addition to Barbara’s Easter collection, her latest book is My Heart, Every His: Prayers for Women. You can find Barbara on her website at Ever Thine Home where she encourages women in their faith and family relationships. You can also follow her on Instagram on @everthinehome.