If you live in the state of NC, you are fully aware of Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order for safety measures. This directive is an attempt to slow the COVID -19 Coronavirus from spreading. Safe at home orders, no gatherings more than ten, companies deemed as necessary or not, and many working from home, have become the norm. I applaud the measures of our entire nation for safety as we fight this battle.
Honest, I do.
However, if I could be open with you today, one area especially hard for me is the thought of closed churches on Easter Sunday morning. The Sunday, when many gather to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, will look totally different this year. Yes, I think it is wise to stay home, but sometimes, the wise choice is the hard choice.
So, what is a gal to do when Easter seems a little lacking this year? How can we celebrate when our new normal is not normal?
Here are a few suggestions. I pray they will help you praise our Lord well.
First, I must remember the truth of why I celebrate! I celebrate because He is worthy! Be reminded celebratory worship takes place in the individual heart, whether young or old, at home, or in a church building. For this reason, this Easter will never be lacking. The truth is He is worthy this year, just like every year prior.
My friend, Marilyn Osborn shared with her online ministry called ‘Disciple Her’ this beautiful video entitled, ‘Is He Worthy?‘ Grab your tissues and watch this momma and her daughter worship. Honestly, it will prepare your heart to worship our King because He is worthy. Click Here.
This song reminds me, that as a believer, I can choose to worship anywhere and at any time. A closed church building will never close a spiritual celebration, unless I allow it. Because the truth of the resurrection has not changed. Christ died for our sins. He has risen from the grave. He is worthy of our celebration.
We celebrate because the tomb is empty. Have you seen the statement on social media that reads, “The church may be empty this Easter, but the tomb is too” The empty tomb is worth of celebrating! Our Lord proved His power over death and destruction. We have new life in Him. We have been reborn. For me, the visions of the empty tomb from my Isreal trip will forever be etched in my heart. He has risen! We celebrate because our Lord is not in the grave. This Easter looks different, but the message is the same.
This year, Terry and I plan to attend our online service at West Cabarrus. I invite you to join us. Then we will have the Lord’s Supper at home using our wooden cups from Isreal. We had the Lord’s Supper using these same cups at the Garden Tomb viewing Calvary. This will be a way for us to be reminded of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.
However, if you still have young children or even grandchildren near by, incorporate some added fun to this weekend.
Here are Seven Ideas to Get your Creative Juices Flowing:
Parents, read the Easter story to your children. If you are a grandparent, aunt, or a babysitter etc and physically separated this year, simply FaceTime and read the Easter story. Another option would be to record your reading of the Biblical story, and send it to them. Then invite the children to get creative. For example, tell them to dress up and act out the storyline. Older siblings can direct the ‘play’ and younger can role-play. Allow them to perform and even record the performance. They can shoot it to you privately or even share on social media for others to enjoy.
2. Another idea would be to use legos, blocks, finger puppets, sock puppets, play dough and/or even dolls to create the Easter story. A favorite in my house were legos when my boys were young.
3. Make Resurrection Cookies. This activity will need to be started the day before Easter. This is a great visual for young children because when the cookies bake a small hole is formed on inside of the cookie. The opening represents an empty tomb. Retell the story as you bake. Review the story as you enjoy the tasty treat. Here is a link and a pic for the Easter Cookie recipe from Your Home Based Mom! Enjoy! (You can also find resurrection biscuits with the same idea if you search online.)
Pic from ‘Your Home Based Mom’
4. For the Seamon family it is tradition to Dye Eggs and Have an Egg Hunt! This is a must at my home! Here is a pic from the past, but we still do this activity when we can gather. As the children became adults, I switched the prize within the eggs from candy to money. This motivates struggling college students and young married couples to play! Oh Yes, it is a fun to see grown adults on the hunt for colored eggs.
Daniel, David, Lauren and Drew
5. Make a Simple Craft together! There are tons of ideas online from toilet paper bunnies (well, that might be an “endangered species this year), paper-plate crafts, and even lolly bunnies. Be creative and use what you have around the house. The below pics and ideas are from ‘The best idea for Kids.’ Here is the Link.
Pic from ‘The Best Ideas for Kids’
Pic from ‘The Best Ideas for Kids’
6. Enjoy a home-cooked meal! We have always celebrated with a traditional meal of baked ham and the trimmings. This year we plan to go in a different direction since our house is a little emptier. However, we will throw pork chops on the grill, which is a favorite. The point is to enjoy a home cooked meal.
7. I have never made this cute resurrection garden, but have always wanted to do so. Check it out Here. The below pic and link are from Skies of Parchment. You can find several versions online, but this one is my favorite.
Pic from ‘Skies of Parchment’
Friends, as we pause this year, instead of dressing up and going to church, what if we owned our celebrations of rebirth, new beginnings, and positive growth more profoundly and uniquely than ever before?!
What if we led our families well to examine our hearts and celebrate with a fresh excitement! A closed church will never close spiritual celebrations, unless we allow it. We are the church, let us celebrate and celebrate well the good news of the risen Lord.
Happy Easter my friends!!! ! I would love to hear from you! Let me know how you plan to celebrate this Easter.