by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
I barely have the last traces of Christmas put away – and here we are facing another major church celebration, bearing down on us whether we’re ready or not!
For my extended family, Easter Sunday is one of the holidays in a year that we attempt to gather us all up for a share-a-dish meal at one of the homes in our network that is large enough for an inter-generational crowd. We’re not very formal or terribly well organized, but our efforts always come together to offer a good time for us to reconnect. I am the matriarch of our family, one of the few remaining from my generation. For times like this we are at least three generations gathered around the table, and even the generations break into age clusters of those who have the most in common.
Here is what I’m going to challenge my family with this year. I hope you’ll find something of eternal value to incorporate into what your family does to celebrate this holiday.
Our family’s culture holds to the conviction that Jesus died on a cross so that we might have our sins forgiven, and God raised him from the dead that we might enjoy life with him, starting now and for all eternity. Not everything we associate with Easter reflects this, of course, (and this is o.k.) but I believe that we parents need to be vigilant and seek ways to present to our children the Christian meaning of Easter, keeping this main thing, the main thing.
This will be my challenge to my family this year: Please determine approximately how much time and money you will spend on food, clothing and activities that have nothing to do with the central truth of Easter. However small or big this figure may be, prayerfully spend an equal amount of time and money on ministry activity that has a direct focus on Jesus, advancing his eternal kingdom. Let what you decide come from everyone in your family. That is, rather than tell your growing kids what the family will do, reach the decision regarding action with your children. You might present them with a few options, and then let them take ownership of this by being part of the decision making process – with your leadership, of course.I know we’re all stretched thin for time these days, so I’ll suggest two possible resources to help you that are easily available online. I’ll add a few others next time.
- Wycliffe Bible Translators offers a free packet of great activities designed for children, primarily, but actually enjoyable for any and all ages. It’s called Kate &Mack’s Easter Countdown. Use the ideas as they are presented, or let the ideas suggest adaptations of your own to suit your family’s unique make-up and interests.
- The Voice of the Martyrs invites us to help them provide one million Bibles to people who are in areas of this world where Bible distribution is difficult, dangerous, or even illegal. See details here.
- Of course, you may have another ministry, local or global, that you want to bless. Go for it!
Jesus sent them out with the unfailing message…of eternal life. Mark 16:8b
KidZ at Heart values the family and its part in enabling children to fulfill their role in God’s plan.