Saturday, 22 March 2008

Celebrating Easter

Celebrating Easter in our house isn't all about chocolate, although there is a fair bit of that delicious brown stuff floating around at the moment. Celebrating Easter is all about the sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ. Last year I wrote a post about our family's preparations for celebrating Christmas. This post is a description of how we are presently celebrating Easter.

Circle Time Bible stories
Amazingly, we have kept up with our Circle Time studies from the gospels so well that we are up to the Easter story at Easter time, as I had planned.
Monday following Palm Sunday - People welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem
Tuesday - Jesus cleared the Temple
Wednesday - Jesus commended the poor woman for her "small but big" gift to the Temple
Maundy Thursday - Jesus shared the last supper with his disciples
Easter Friday - Jesus was killed on the cross
Easter Saturday - no story: we're waiting to see what happened next, just like the disciples!
Easter Sunday - Jesus is risen! Mary, Peter and John saw the empty tomb and Jesus spoke to Mary in the garden

The next stories we will cover include:
Jesus and the disciples on the road to Emmaus
Jesus appeared to all the disciples except Thomas
Thomas believed when he saw Jesus
Jesus cooked breakfast on the beach and talked to Peter
Jesus gave the Great Commission to the disciples
Jesus went back to heaven (the Ascension)
God sent the Holy Spirit (Pentecost)

This plan would take us to the Ascension story well before we celebrate it with our church community, but somewhere in there we'll also spend a week or two just reviewing our memory verses from the life and ministry of Jesus. After Ascension, we'll be reading through selections from the Acts of the Apostles for the next few months with a week on the Revelation to John.

Circle Time memory verses
Our memory verses for the Easter period are:
Isaiah 53:6
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way,
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Acts 2:32a
God has raised this Jesus to life...
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:3-5
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

This might seem like a huge list of scriptures to memorise, but we already know the first three failry well through listening to some of the Christian kids' CDs we have, so they are mostly being refreshed. (I made sure I included these verse-based songs in the kids' Easter CD.)

Church Services
Easter Friday - We attended a morning service at our church. The kids stayed in for as long as they could keep from squirming, and then they went out and watched a cartoon Easter story DVD. Our minister and ministry candidate spoke about the seven recorded sayings of Jesus on the cross.
Easter Sunday - We'll be attending the regular morning service at our church. The kids will be in for the early part and then will go out for Sunday school, as they do usually.
I have a Catholic friend who'll be spending time at some more contemplative services this weekend and I'd really like to do this also, but little children don't always lend themselves to quiet church services, which is why we didn't attend the Maunday Thursday service at our church. Maybe we'll follow their example next year and swap turns between Jeff and I as to who goes to what.

And to help us celebrate, we have Granny visiting with us this weekend as well. She arrived yesterday and will leave on Monday. Today we all went for a splendid BBQ lunch to celebrate Jeff's grandmother's 91st birthday.

Festival Food
Maundy Thursday - we enjoyed roast lamb with veg and Turkish bread (is, unleavened bread). We had planned to have red grape juice to accompany the meal but I forgot to put it on the shopping list, so Jeff and I sipped fortified wine and the kids had water while Jeff told the kids about the first passover and explained why Jesus and his disciples were eating lamb and bread and drinking wine at the Last Supper.
Easter Friday - The traditional dinner of fish. We had sword fish which led to a lot of discussion among the children.
Easter Saturday - We had a big lunch but ordinarily I'd like us to be observing a limited fast. The presence of so much chocolate in the house has a way of overcoming the best of intentions, however! We'd just be having vegetable soup and bread rolls for lunch, if it wasn't for all the leftovers we were given after lunch.
Easter Sunday - Extra Special Celebratory Breakfast of pancakes and hollow chocolate eggs. Then for dinner we're having friends over for a BBQ with lamb steaks and lamb sausages (notice a theme here?) and salad.

And that's it.
Have a great Easter celebrating the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

[image from stock.xchange]

No comments: