This post from Good Friday in 2009 seems appropriate for Good Friday this year as well!
Would you mind sharing your Easter traditions? I'm struggling to stress the importance of Easter with my kids. Christmas provides lots of opportunities, but Easter isn't so easy. love, jen
In the past few years, our Easter traditions have changed quite a bit. As a person who tends to go overboard (I know, you're shocked!) I used to hide zillions of eggs for my two tiny girls. Which meant hyper girls and throwing away perfectly good jelly beans after a week because the sight of them started to make my stomach hurt after eating too many.
So one Easter in San Diego, I decided to hide only the 12 resurrection eggs. That's it. Each girl got to find six. I was a little unsure of how they'd react, but it was wonderful. Yes, they found the eggs in about 39 seconds flat, but then they sat on the floor with them and worked together to put them in order, telling and retelling the Easter story for at least an hour.
I could hardly believe it!
We also read the book Benjamin's Box that goes along with the eggs to hear the story from a child's perspective. And, one year, we made our own boxes--collecting things that reminded us of the Easter story.
This year, being sick put a crimp in my Lent/Easter plans. I totally got off track with my own Lenten devotional reading and have struggled with feeling like I missed out on some of the things I'd wanted to do.
But we are doing our big Easter tradition tonight. This is our third year of celebrating Good Friday with a Seder. The meal is really for Passover, but Passover and Easter don't always match on our calendars. So we've just decided to do it each year on Good Friday.
This is a long meal and involves lots of reading, so it's really better for children who are a little bit older. (Though I suppose you could just do the Seder plate with smaller children without also having a meal with it. It takes several hours altogether and that's a long time for little ones to sit at the table.)
I have this marvelous book--A Family Guide to Biblical Holidays--that includes a booklet walking you through the meal in a family friendly way. It also includes some recipes and all kinds of other ideas for celebrating Passover.
The thing I also like about this book is that it very clearly shows how Jesus fulfilled each element of the feast.
Having this meal together, more than anything we've done for Easter--has taught my children the significance of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. And because it looks back to Israel's captivity and freedom from Egypt in a tangible way, they also see that all of Scripture points to Jesus.
So this morning, Emma's going to bake a cake so we can assemble a trifle for our dessert later; I'm going to roast the lamb shank for the Seder plate; we need to get out the china and crystal to set the table, chop apples to make the haroset that represents the mortar the Israelites used to make bricks in Egypt, get the roast in the crock pot (Audrey and Emma can't bring themselves to eat lamb--so we've improvised). All that said, I'd better get going!