Easter: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Easter is my favorite holiday. I love “spring time” with the flowers beginning to bloom and trees blossoming. Who doesn’t love a cute bunny rabbit or a baby chick? This holiday filled with pastels is wonderful!
For those who understand the true meaning of Easter, this holiday takes on a greater meaning, significant far beyond any baby chick or colored egg. The events that took place, many years ago on a hill called Golgotha, have forever shaped and changed the meaning of life here on earth, as well as eternity. What could be more powerful?
In Germany, we celebrate the days leading up to Easter with a focus on Jesus. Starting with Maundy Thursday, we celebrate with a communion and feet washing service. In this service, we remember the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples. We focus on the example He set for us through serving others and the beauty of breaking bread in fellowship. While not all the children participate in communion because of their different stage of spiritual understanding, they can all take part in feet washing, either by washing feet, having their own feet washed, or both. The atmosphere created during this special service gives the children a clear understanding that something holy is happening. The sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, that I find children come by so naturally, invites them into quiet servanthood.
Good Friday is a holiday in Germany, so there is no school, no work, and no stores are open. This allows us to really take time to remember the sacrifice made on the cross, with no distractions and lots of gratitude.
Easter Sunday is a celebration. The greeting on this day is “He is Risen” and the response is “He is Risen Indeed”. There is excitement in the air and joy all around. We speak about the power of serving a LIVING God! Death, could not hold Him! We finish with a traditional Easter egg hunt because its fun and kids like candy. However, the emphasis is placed on Jesus and His VICTORY on the Cross. The pretty dresses and Easter baskets take a back seat to Him as it should.
As I stated before, I love Easter. Jesus defeating death on the cross and coming back to life. Wow! It doesn’t get any better than that! That truth far exceeds any “holiday.” His victory should be lived in daily and shared with our children with great boldness and excitement!
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
Contributing Author: Rebecca Gilliland
Rebecca lives in Langen, Germany. She and her husband Josh pastor the Internationale Jesus Gemeinde church where Rebecca is actively involved in the children’s ministry. She is also the national children’s ministry director in Germany. Rebecca and Josh have four daughters that are the light of their lives.