Ironic isn’t it, how during Christmas, from the month before, the city is filled with decorations to depict the season. You drive through Maryland and the decorations are obvious from the independence tunnel and its environs. Likewise on the Island, corporate organisations, especially the banks, are almost trying to outdo each other with their Christmas decors and gifts for special clients.
Meanwhile, Easter period, which is really why Jesus was born in the first place, does not seem to be accorded as much importance. So how do we capture the Easter essence or tell the Easter story to our wonderful children?
The first step would be to know the understanding level of your child so as to know what approach to use. Older children would not be easily confused by the death and resurrection story (if they are not already familiar with it) and they might equally be able to handle the graphic scenes in the ‘Passion Of The Christ’ movie. In addition to this, pick out books connected to the season for them to read from your local bookstore.
However, for the younger child, you need to first demystify the myths. As the world becomes more of a global village, western cultures filter to our children through exposure to media, the environment, and other kids.
What is Easter?
In helping them understand the Easter story, children need to understand that Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, and in no way is there a correlation or story behind the Easter bunny or Easter egg that links this (this is not to say you should demonize the bunny and eggs for them, but to help them understand the non-relevance to the Christian faith).
To make it easier, get a children’s bible with pictures. (Or get the Easter story in printable versions of easy to understand bible versions here http://bit.ly/2p544k7). They need to know that Jesus’ death on the cross is not the end of the story. He arose from death and is alive and that any friend or family who lived and died in Christ will also be reunited one day.
Explain to them how God’s love for us is so great that he was willing to send his son Jesus to die for us because unlike you and me, Jesus was the only perfect and acceptable sacrifice.
Explain terms like sacrifice, betrayal (Judas), crucifixion (death on the cross), resurrection, and how they relate to the season. You can choose to break your stories into the major days of the holy week – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday and let them know what happened on those individual days and why.
It would also be a good idea to have them attend Sunday school or the various Easter services at your church during this season.
The Easter story is a significant aspect of Christianity. Use these holidays to encourage the kids to go out of their way to act out good Christian values like love and selflessness.