In the weeks leading up to Easter, I had been pondering how to share the true meaning of Easter with our 17 month old daughter, Abby. At Christmas time we bought her a Fisher Price Nativity set. While I know she didn't understand the whole Christmas story (or even close!) she knew which figurine was Jesus and which one was His mommy Mary! I didn't think playing with a cross was quite what I had in mind for Easter but I wanted something more than having a fun Easter egg hunt. Then the Thursday before Easter Sunday I attended my MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) meeting and got some ideas! Our speaker for that day was a mom who had experienced similar feelings when her kids were little and had gotten ideas from another speaker at MOPS. That day each of us also put together a set of Resurrection Eggs for our families. I came away from MOPS energized and excited about how to make Easter special for my young family!
On my way home I stopped at the grocery store and Christian bookstore to pick up a couple of things and during lunch Jeshua, Abby, and I celebrated a very simple Passover meal together. We used paper plates to represent the haste in which the Israelites ate their meal. The menu consisted of roasted chicken instead of roasted lamb, pita bread for the unleavened bread and pesto pasta salad for the bitter herbs! As strange as that may sound, I love that as my family grows and we continue this tradition it's simple enough that we can engage them in conversation about Passover and Easter. While we ate we read Abby a little board book called "The Story of Passover" by Rabbi Francis Barry Silberg. (It's a little long for a 17 month old so we paraphrased.) Another book I ordered but not in time for Easter this year is "The Story of Easter" by Patricia A. Pingry. (This one is just about perfect for a 17 month old!)
After lunch we each ate a little piece of pita bread and drank a little cup of grape juice and celebrated communion together. I grew up feeling that you really should fully understand communion before you took part in it. But somehow as Jeshua explained to Abby about communion in very simple words, I felt it was a very holy and special moment we were sharing with our daughter. I know she doesn't get it all right now but maybe next year she'll remember that we did this same thing and understand in her little heart that what we're doing is really important. And someday she'll understand that it's a choice she can make, to honor Jesus by taking communion and remembering what He has done for us.
On Sunday we ate Easter dinner with my in-laws and our two oldest nieces. We opened dinner singing a hymn and closed it by passing around the carton of Resurrection Eggs I'd made on Thursday. There are 12 eggs each with some symbol of Jesus' trial, death, and resurrection! Each person took a turn opening an egg and sharing what significance it has in Jesus' story.
So that was the more serious part of our Easter weekend! Before I go on though I will say that there were more suggestions from the MOPS speaker and I'd be happy to pass them on to anyone interested! On a more silly note, Abby got to see the Easter Bunny at the farmer's market Saturday and was absolutely thrilled! We also did a small Easter egg hunt in the backyard Sunday afternoon which she loved once she caught on to the game!
Enjoy some pictures from our weekend!