Don't Miss the Empty Tomb

It's that time of year again when our schedule gets overbooked. I honestly think that this weekend in April is the busiest one of our year, including the holiday season.

My youngest turns 8 on Monday, so her birthday party is this weekend on top of her regularly scheduled hockey game, the AWANA carnival and an egghunt. My oldest is going on a church retreat, to another friend's birthday party and has a soccer game at the same time as my youngest's birthday party. We'll finish the weekend out with our second-to-last AWANA meeting.

I have freelance deadlines coming up and am in charge of planning and hosting the birthday party. It would be really easy to lose sight of the reason that we're celebrating this weekend and get caught up in the details.

You all know that I love to throw a good birthday party. I've made Super Mario decorations, planned games, including an obstacle course, a balloon battle and a question mark box pinata. I still have a lot of details to take care of before the party on Sunday, and I'm sure I'll be a bit stressed before it all comes together.

I'm trying not to let the details get in the way of enjoying the weekend celebrating with my daughter. It would be really easy to get so focused on the party and all the other things we have to do this weekend that I could miss the joy in the moment and the reason for celebrating -- my daughter.
As Easter nears, we don't want to get caught up in the details and the noise surrounding this celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection. What a joyful time of the year. We serve a God who defeated death and offers us life. When the women went to the tomb, it was empty because Jesus is alive. The angels told them "He is not here. He has risen, just as he said." (Matthew 28:6) That's an amazing message, and one to be celebrated.

Unfortunately, the world has commercialized Easter to the point that it's true meaning has been lost. It's easy for our kids to get caught up in coloring Easter eggs and egg hunts and completely miss the truth of Easter. Spend the next week helping your kids to focus on the reason we celebrate Easter.

  • Starting Monday, check out the blog for a family devotion that will walk your family through Easter week, focusing on the events in Jesus' life in that last week. Each day will include a fun activity to do or an easy discussion to have with your kids.
  • One of my favorite object lessons for kids during Easter are Resurrection Eggs. These are plastic eggs that have something inside each egg that tells the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. It's fun and engaging for kids. Let older kids open the eggs in order and tell you the events that go along with each object.
  • Take every opportunity in this next week to talk about Jesus' death and resurrection. While there's nothing wrong with coloring eggs and going to egg hunts (we do), make sure your kids know that those things are simply fun. The true reason that we celebrate Easter is because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave so that we could have a relationship with God.

Take time this next week to focus on the meaning of Easter -- Jesus. Don't get so caught up in planning for the family dinner or choosing the perfect Easter dress or even helping with your Easter services that you forget the reason for the celebration. Take time every day in the next week to spend some time focused on Jesus and celebrate the joy of Easter.