EASTER: Helping teens join the celebration

Baptist Press
Posted: Mar 28, 2013 5:52 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: This family feature appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. More than 540,000 people already receive such insights through LifeWay's five family magazines, each focused on a different life stage from newlyweds to parents of young children to Boomers and seniors. Learn more at LifeWay.com/magazines.

NASHVILLE (BP) -- On my first Easter as a believer at age 14, our youth group gathered for a sunrise service in a cemetery that had a huge cross on a hill.

I felt like one of the early disciples after hearing rumors of Jesus' resurrection as I walked to that cross in the dark. I couldn't wait for the sun to rise on my first Easter as a Christian.

But not every Easter is like that. And for teens who have grown up in the church it may take something new to help them reconnect with the awe of what Easter means for believers. Here are a few ideas to try with your family:

Add a little "Seder" to your dinner. Jewish families eat a "Seder" dinner on the first two nights of Passover. Seder means order, and symbolic foods are eaten in a specific order throughout the meal. One of those foods is matzo bread, a cracker-like bread which can be found in grocery stores.

At the start of the meal, one piece representing the Passover Lamb is broken in half, wrapped in a napkin, and hidden for the children to find at the end of the meal. Once it is found, everyone eats a small piece. The symbolism for Christians fits so perfectly with Jesus, our Passover Lamb, and Jesus' words at His final Passover supper with His disciples, that it can be a wonderfully meaningful addition to Easter dinner.

Compare and contrast the four Gospel accounts. During the days or weeks leading up to Easter, read the story of Jesus' arrest, crucifixion and resurrection from each of the four Gospels. Have your family look for details that are specific to each book, such as Mark's unique addition of a young man's getaway.

Create a family heirloom. One year at Easter, our family made a slideshow of photos acting out the events of Easter morning. We used simple costumes (bathrobes and towels) and created scenes from the story. We put those photos on our computer and streamed them while playing an Easter song called "He's Alive!" by Don Francisco (available online). We showed that slideshow in a Sunday School class and at our Easter dinner with our extended family. Ours was very simple, but you can be as elaborate as you would like. It can be a highlight of Easter for years to come.

Pray for a specific country to have a revival at Easter. Get a copy of Operation World by Jason Mandryk (available at LifeWay.com). This book leads you in praying daily for different countries so that in one year, you'll have prayed for every nation on earth. Choose a country or two for which your family would like to pray. Look through the book to find specific things you can ask God to do for Christians in that country and ask for revival.

And whatever you do at Easter, ask God to help you honor His Son and celebrate as a family.

He is risen! Let's celebrate!

Beth Swale is a writer in Bourbonnais, Ill. This article first appeared in Living With Teenagers, a publication of LifeWay Christian Resources.

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