Easter is almost here and a few years ago i felt quite convicted that we made a huge deal of Christmas, but Easter seemed to sort of sneak up on us before we knew it. Christmas is so much fun but let us not forget, Easter is the reason we live!!!! I pray that these ideas spark more ideas in your heart to make Christ the center of all our celebrating! I am so encouraged by many of you who are striving to think and have purposes behind what you do during every day life and extra special days/holidays we celebrate. May God only increase your desire to make much of him with how you live!

Here’s what we do…During Easter, we use two practical things, candles and the Easter Box.

At Christmas we light candles for advent. During the season we always talk about how Jesus, the Light of the World was coming into the world to save us from our sinful hearts. Each week as we would light a candle we would turn off all of the lights and say, “Look how much brighter the world is getting. We are getting closer to celebrating his birth.” Then on Christmas morning we would have all of the candles lit and the kids would run downstairs to see that Jesus has been born. We would sing and “blow out the candles”. It was fun. But now, it is Easter. The Light of the World has been with us, and the world did not know Him. So we use candles differently. We set out 6 candles ( I use tea lights and set them on top of our piano). On Palm Sunday we have all 6 candles lit. Each day as we approach good Friday we snuff out a candle…the world is growing dark again. On Good Friday we have a special family worship and have the children sit a few minutes in darkness. It has been very powerful. Then on Easter Sunday morning…”the Lord is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed!” This is the way we awaken our children, we tell them that He is Alive. Then we run down the stairs to see all of the candles shining bright once again. Thank you Jesus, that never again will we have to sit in darkness!

Each night of the week before Easter we also have a special family worship time, where we do the candles and the Easter Box. The Easter Box is just a box with a lid that we painted and decorated (you can get a cheap box at Michaels or AC Moore). Each night there is something different inside the box. The kids get to open the box nightly and there are objects in the box that tell the story of the last week of Jesus’ life. This has been helpful to our family, to walk the road with him the week before his crucifixion. Here’s what is in the box each night…

Sunday- palm branches (Triumphal Entry) I have one palm branch for each child
Monday- bird figurines and money (Cleansing the Temple) We found some wooden birds at michales and use coins.
Tuesday- pouches with 30 pieces of silver in them (Judas makes plans to betray Jesus) I have some cloth pouches and put 30 nickles in them, again, one for each child.
Wednesday- Bread and Cup (Last Supper). I pained some wooden peices resembling bread and cup, found at Micahels.
Thursday- Rock and Rooster Feather, or picture of Rooster (Gethsemane and Peter’s Denial).
Friday- nails and thorns (Crucifixion). We cut the thorns off of some rose bushes at my parents home. This way they can feel what nails would have felt like and how thorns must have felt in his forehead.
Sat- linen cloth and put it in a tomb (We make a little mock-tomb out of a canister with lid, and put the linen cloth in it)
Sunday- empty tomb! The Lord is Risen!!!! CANDLES ARE ALL LIT!

These are just our ideas. We typically act out the story as a family or have books to go along with the story that i have found at Christian book stores or just in our children’s bibles. We also sing songs each night, pray, and do our scripture memory. As our children are getting older we use the Bible to read instead of picture books.

I am so excited about celebrating Jesus this Easter! Each year this time grows sweeter and sweeter and the questions get deeper and deeper. God truly uses these things in each of our lives to increase our wonder at His sacrifice and love for the gospel!

Longing to behold His glory face to face…

dana cordell