When I was in graduate school, I spent two Easters far from home. I had no family with me, I was in a foreign culture and I was left on my own to decide how to spend the day. While weird at first, those two Easters now stand out in my memory because they were, for the first time, a personal celebration between me and Jesus.
Honestly, that’s not all too different from what this Easter is going to be like for all of us. We’re at home and our normal modes of celebration — huge church services, family meals, photo ops, neighborhood egg hunts — are not on the schedule. But we don’t need any of that to make this Easter a total celebration! Nothing about our current circumstances changes the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead and opened the door for us to know and love Him forever. Nothing changes that! So, take a few suggestions below and decide how you’ll celebrate Easter at home this year.
Carry over some favorite traditions. Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean we have to abandon all our favorite things about Easter. Think of a dish you always make, a movie you always watch, a passage of Scripture you always read and carry on!
Write an Easter message with sidewalk chalk. With so many people heading out for walks right now, take some time and spread the good news of Easter with a sidewalk shout out. It’s sure to put a smile on someone’s face and maybe even add hope to their day.
Make a special breakfast, lunch or dinner. Easter is the day that Jesus championed over sin and death and changed all of history. If that doesn’t deserve some bacon and pancakes, I don’t know what will! Pull out the cookbooks or call your mom for that recipe of Aunt Tootsie’s famous coconut cake. This is a day to absolutely feast on the goodness of our God and that includes caloric delight.
Gather with your Christ Chapel family for an Easter celebration. We’re going to have an incredible day of online services and we want you, your neighbors, your Amazon delivery person, your coworkers — everyone! — to be part of it. We’re going to worship, Cody is going to have an incredible message and we’ll all get to time spend time (virtually) together. We’ve even got specially-designed notes for all ages so that the whole family can watch and learn together.
Get up at first light like Mary did and watch the sun rise. I always tell myself I want to do this on Easter morning — I have this whole picture of a brilliant sunrise, a cup of coffee in my hand and time to really sit in the hope of what Easter means — but then the go, go, go of the week catches up with me and I usually scramble out of bed with just enough time to make it church. This year, though? The go, go, go is more like no, no no and I’m feeling like this may finally be my moment … join me?
Have an Easter egg hunt in the back yard or inside. Pull out the plastic eggs from last year and hide them at home this year. Don’t have candy to fill them with? Use coins, stickers, notes, fruit snacks, play-doh … anything you can find around the house. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
Tell your people Happy Easter! You know what is almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face? Calling or texting your people and wishing them a Happy Easter. Even if we’re not celebrating together in-person, we can still connect through all the miraculous ways of technology. Let’s make much of Jesus by reminding each other of how special this day is — no matter our current circumstances.
Set the self-timer and take a photo. Whether you’re in your Easter best or kicking it in bunny pajamas, we want to see you on Easter! Maybe pull out the markers and have the kids make an “Easter 2020” or “He is Risen!” sign to hold in the photo. This Easter, we may feel our need for Jesus more than ever, there might be some tears among the smiles and “Happy Easter” wishes — and that’s perfectly fine. I think we’ll want to remember it all.
Draw pictures with your kids for neighbors. I know we’re all looking for projects and ways to spend the day on right now … what if you helped your kids make Easter pictures for your neighbors? They could use a Bible verse or their favorite part of the Easter story and leave the finished creation on your neighbor’s porch.
Go for a drive and take in the wild flowers. Ok, this one isn’t technically at home, but it’s still a way to practice responsible social distancing! Sunday is supposed to be sunny and 75 which means if you’re antsy to get out, why not take a long drive? Flowers are blooming up and down highways everywhere and the weather will practically be begging for the sun roof to be open. Put on a favorite album and let creation remind you how beautiful and generous our God is.
Join Christ Chapel for Seder and Tenebrae. There are two special online events happening this week before we even get to Easter! Seder, on Thursday, April 9, is a chance to understand the Last Supper experience like never before. Dr. David Teitelbaum will be sharing how every part of the ancient tradition points to Jesus as our Savior. Then on Good Friday, April 10, join us for Tenebrae, our Good Friday service, that’s full of beautiful music and the story of Jesus’ life and death. (This year there’s both a traditional service AND a contemporary one!) You can learn more and watch both here.
Join us for Tenebrae and Easter celebrations this week!
Do you have plans for Easter? Join us on Friday for an online Good Friday service called Tenebrae. The service tells the story of Jesus’ life and death through beautiful music and narration. And, of course, you can’t miss our Easter gatherings online — we’re absolutely going to celebrate the good news of Easter! Click here to learn more about this week’s events.