A guest post by Susan Brown
Easter is my very favorite time of the year. Maybe it’s because the Easter bunny doesn’t wrap gifts… but, I actually think I love Easter because we get to celebrate everything resurrecting after a long, cold winter.
As Christian parents, I often wonder how can we help our young children understand the joy of Easter without freaking them out about the crucifixion?
I decided to start with a good book. There are lots of great kid-friendly Bibles out there and lots of great Easter-specific books.
The Beginner’s Bible is my personal favorite because the pictures are descriptive but not scary and the language is appropriate for my 3 and 5 year old. I highly recommend snagging a kid’s Bible and sharing a story – at Easter or any time.
My family talks a lot about how Jesus rose from the grave and not so much about how or why Jesus died. Those are really important parts of the Easter story, but my little people aren’t quite ready for that. Eventually, we will talk about why the disciples denied knowing Jesus and that Judas sold out the messiah for 30 pieces of silver. But for now, we talk in very general terms that Jesus was sentenced to die on the cross because some people did not like what Jesus was teaching. After three days, he wasn’t dead any more. He defeated death and came back to tell the disciples one more time about God’s forgiving love.
On Easter Sunday, we will attend sunrise worship (since my kids are up that early anyway!), and we’ll talk about Mary going to visit the tomb early in the morning. Her sadness mixed with the beautiful sunrise must have been an overwhelming flood of emotions. When we come home, we’ll have a visit from the Easter bunny, who represents new life and the excitement of the resurrection, and an egg hunt with one empty egg to represent the empty tomb. And the most important message I can share with my children this Easter is that no matter who finds the most eggs or eats the most candy (that’s always me!), we all “win” because we find God’s forgiving love in each plastic egg, each jelly bean and yes, even in the deviled eggs.
However you celebrate Easter this weekend, I hope you find a way to welcome spring and the resurrection after the long, cold winter.
Susan Brown is a mom of two silly girls who specialize in teaching her patience. Susan is especially passionate about empowering parents to engage children in their own faith development in simple and meaningful ways.