Colin’s mother’s family has started holding their annual family reunion on Easter weekend. I really like the idea of helping the holiday to be special by getting together and connecting as a family. This year we’ve got fancy dinners and traditional Cuban food and an easter egg hunt and all kinds of fun planned.
I’ve been thinking about Easter and its religious significance, and I wanted to make this year’s celebration a more personal and spiritual experience for myself. So, when I read Eric Hunstman’s article (here) on how his family observes Easter, I jumped on his tradition of reading in the New Testament each day of the week before Easter about that day on the last week of the Savior’s mortal life. For each day of the week, he’s posted a simple list of scripture references from the four Gospels detailing what happened on the correlative day of the week of the first Easter. I’m sure this isn’t a new idea and that I could probably find a similar list in the LDS Bible Dictionary or by googling it, but that’s where I found it and I give him credit.
Each day’s reading so far has only taken a few minutes to read, and I’ve found myself coming away wanting to know and understand more. So I checked out the New Testament institute manual lessons about that time period here. It’s really helpful to have the added context of maps and historical details and discussions of how the passages of scripture relate to each other. I definitely recommend spending the extra time reading about the events of Easter there.
Easter and Passover overlap this year, and I’ve been thinking about their intertwined messages. Since I was a little girl when we lived in Israel, my parents have participated in a Passover seder every year. I haven’t been able to join them in a long time, but I remember our seders as some of the most meaningful celebrations of my life. I miss them! I really should find a community seder to attend someday. I wonder if Colin would want to go with me. I just looked it up and there’s one in Berkeley tomorrow. That would be a totally appropriate Family Home Evening…but it’s $45 each! Eeek. And how would I explain the wine to my kids… and our no alcohol thing to the hosts? Maybe another year. And I have a box of Matzah in the cupboard for my own mini-celebration of the Exodus. There is a lot to be grateful for this week.
Speaking of Family Home Evening, we should have an Easter FHE tomorrow. If we do, and it were to go the way I planned it (it never does), this is how I’d do it:
Song: Did Jesus Really Live Again?
Lesson: Watch the DVD of “To This End Was I Born” (or on YouTube here), or the shorter “Lamb of God” video if we have less time
Talk about what we saw. Discuss how the symbols of eggs and flowers and Spring itself point to Jesus Christ and the resurrection.
Activity: Dyeing eggs is an obvious one. Or we could perform our talents for our family reunion talent show–Grandma wants at least one of the kids to recite the 13th Article of Faith. I’m not totally confident that any of them will be able overcome their stage fright, but maybe practicing would help.
Refreshments: How about these cute little chocolate “nests” with jellybeans for eggs? They look super easy. They have the added advantage of being gluten-free, which is good because we found out a couple of months ago that Colin is gluten-intolerant so he has to eat food that has no wheat in it. If we wanted to get more complicated, I’ll bet we could use our favorite 5 Minute Cookies recipe to make the nests.
Simpler, we could just distribute Peeps. I’m not all that into them taste-wise, but have to admit they are cute. And it would get the kids in bed sooner.
Possibly more yummy, but certainly less dessert-y, would be deviled eggs.
Hey, these bunnies are adorable and look easy and kid friendly!
Can you tell I like dessert?