by Rebecca Foxen
Easter, for us, is the highest festival of the year. It marks the 3rd day after Jesus died a bitter death on the cross. It was the death of a perfect God who paid the debt we owed. And after his suffering and death, he was placed in a tomb with a large rock to cover the opening of the grave. On that special 3rd day which we now call Easter Sunday, the tomb was found empty and Jesus appeared to his disciples and many others, showing them his pierced hands and feet. Because Jesus lives, we know that we too will also live past death. His victory over death is ours, because our debt is paid. This is the hope on which my Christian faith rests: Easter.
When I think of Easter Day, I think of joyful music, trumpets, Easter lilies (a white flower), rejoicing, happy moods, praising and victory. Christians greet each other on Easter morning by saying, «Christ is risen.» and the reply is always, «He is risen, indeed!»
One of my favorite hymns for the Easter is «Jesus Christ is Risen Today». There is a link below to watch the song being sung in a church on Easter morning. This is the text of the first verse:
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day. Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem the lost. Alleluia!
After church on Easter Sunday, our family celebrates with an Easter egg hunt. We usually dye Easter eggs in cups of paint, vinegar, and water the day before Easter. Then, on Easter Sunday, parents and grandparents hide the eggs all over the house or yard, if the weather is nice. My family also hides one Easter basket full of candy for each child. The children have to find their basket and the eggs. It is usually made into a game to see who can find the most eggs. Some people will use plastic eggs for the hunt and they will hide candy or small coins inside each egg.
I am always looking for new and interesting ways to make the Bible stories come to life for my children. I came across the idea to make an Easter garden with my kids last year. I found inspiration from a picture on a blog that I follow.
Making the garden is fairly easy once you have what you need. This is what you need:
a wide, shallow pot
a very small pot for the «tomb»
a large rock to cover the tomb
twigs enough to make three crosses
glue gun or string
Fill the pot about 2/3 full of soil. Place the small pot into the dirt on its side and cover it with soil to make a mound in the middle of the pot, but do not cover the opening of the small pot. Use the small pebbles to create a path to the tomb. Glue the twigs together or tie them in the middle with string to make three crosses. Sprinkle the soil with the grass seed. The seed does not need to go under the dirt, it can just sit on top. Use a spray bottle to spray the grass seed. It is important to keep the seed moist at all times, so keep spraying the seed throughout the day until the seed sprouts. This is a fun job for kids to do because they can check on the grass a few times a day and watch it progressing in growth. I remember last year, I would just sit and check on the little roots coming out of the seed and it seemed quite relaxing after a long day. I look forward to making this again.
Plan ahead with the Easter garden because it takes about 5-7 days to grow. Once it starts growing nicely, you will have to trim it from time to time so that it doesn’t grow higher than your crosses.
Here is a picture of my son «trimming» our Easter garden grass with a scissors. We took the crosses out for the trimming.
The Lord’s blessings to you as you teach your child this important Bible story and celebrate Easter. Christ’s victory is ours!