What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word, Easter?
The Easter bunny?
Was Christ at the top of your mind? Or was he second, third, fourth, or lower?
Let's go one step further for parents: What would your kids say?
My youngest picked out her Easter dress WEEKS ago, and if I [Ginny] were to be absolutely honest with you, she would probably say she gets to wear her pretty BRIGHT pink dress. In fact, I KNOW that is what she would say because she has not only begged me to wear that dress every. single. day since we bought it, she has carried it around the house with her in hopes that I might change my mind at any moment of the day. She is little, so I will give her a pass this year. However, as she grows older, I want Christ's gift of grace to be the first thing on her mind. And that will start with Christ's gift being the first thing on MY MIND.
There is less than a week until Easter, but there is still time to refocus on what we truly celebrate on Easter. To prepare your heart, read a different version of Jesus' final days in the flesh from each Gospel:
For an alternative, you can read Scripture that corresponds with Jesus' final days:
Palm Sunday (Jesus arrives in Jerusalem): Matthew 21: 1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44 and John 12:12-19
Monday (Jesus Cleanses the Temple): Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19 and Luke 19: 45-48
Tuesday (Jesus' Authority Is Challenge): Matthew 21:23-46; Matthew 22: 1-46
Wednesday (Remain Watchful): Matthew 24:36-51; Mark 13:32-37 and Luke 21:325-36
Thursday (Passover with the Disciples, Garden of Gethsemane, Judas' Betrayal): Matthew 26:17-56 and John 13 - 18:11
Friday (Jesus Is Delivered to Pilate, Sentenced, and Hung on the Cross): Matthew 27:1-56, Mark 15:1-41, Luke 23:1-49 and John 18:28-19:37
Saturday (The Tomb): Matthew 27:57-66, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56 and John 19:38-42
Sunday (The Resurrection, The Great Commission and Ascension): Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21
To help prepare your children's hearts, read them age-friendly versions of the Easter story. Resurrection Eggs are an excellent tool to help you tell them.
If they are not in your budget, here is a link to make them yourself: http://thefrugalgirls.com/2010/03/the-easter-story-craft-in-an-egg.html
I love this idea for a Holy Week Calendar that incorporates crafts, singing, and Bible reading.
I pray that you and your family will have the opportunity to focus on the most amazing story of Jesus's greatest gift to us, the gift of life, as we celebrate this final week before Easter.
In the comments below, I would love to hear how you focus on Christ in your family during the Easter season.