What if Jesus were coming to your house this Easter? What would he see?
I ponder this because for my wife, Lisa, and me, the Easter season has always felt like a weird mix, almost a collision, between the transcendent and the trivial. During Easter at our home, it’s common to see decorations of bunnies, chicks, flowers, pastel-colored eggs, baskets with shiny fake green grass, and those delicious marshmallow Peeps.
But we’re realizing that it’s not just the decorations that trivialize Easter, it’s our whole approach to the holiday. Take Easter Sunday, for example. The schedule is tight with morning church followed by a fancy meal at the table, family pictures, gifts for the kids, and an egg hunt with games in the yard afterwards.
For church we wear our really nice clothes, and by nice I mean hot and uncomfortable. We’re normally running late because we’ve spent 30 minutes persuading the kids to wear their really nice clothes, too.
Even as we head to the church we’re thinking of our afternoon activities. And then we find ourselves singing rich theological songs like “Because He Lives” and “Up From the Grave He Arose,” reminding us of the greatest event in history, the foundation of our faith. And we wonder what we’ve missed in all of this Easter activity.
It’s what I imagine Susan must have felt standing beside the broken stone table in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when the resurrected Aslan says to her, “though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know.”
Something deep and magical existed but was easily missed.
I can relate. Amidst the lofty singing and the nice clothes and the Easter decorations, Lisa and I are not fully pleased with how we’ve approached the season. It’s easy for the trivial to become more important than the transcendent.
But if Jesus were coming to our house this year, we’d want things to be different … more intentional, more prepared. We would want to lead our kids through a richer experience than ever before. And the Easter decorations might need to take on a more reverent tone, too.
So here’s what we’re planning this year:
1. Easter week, not just Easter Sunday. On Palm Sunday we will use a resource called Behold the Lamb to teach our children about the different “I AM” statements of Jesus. These devotions culminate with Jesus as “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). With this we will help our family spend the entire week building anticipation for Resurrection Day.
2. Passover symbol on our door. We will adorn our front door with the new He Is Risen Banner from FamilyLife, not only to set apart our home as Christ-honoring but also to provide the family with a visual reminder of our faith. Every time we leave or enter our house we’ll see the Lamb of God who takes away our sin. And when we flip the two-sided banner over on Easter Sunday morning to reveal “He Is Risen,” we’ll experience a connection to Passover firsthand.
I admit that I’m no expert in Easter decorations, but what better time to tell my neighbors “As for me and my house” than at Easter? He is risen! He is risen indeed! Celebrate, and decorate, like Jesus is coming to your house this Easter.
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