“He has Risen!” (Mat 28:6)
Easter symbolizes renewal and rejoicing. Winter is over; a new season is coming to life with glorious abandonment, unfurling and blooming before our eyes. It’s a time of great expectations and also a time for reflection. A perfect occasion for getting together with family and friends and reestablishing old connections.
1. Wake up early and greet the rising sun with praise and prayer.
Give praise for the newness of life and the joy of living in harmony with God’s creation. Say a prayer asking for strength and courage to live according to the Creator’s plan and the wisdom to appreciate and care for what He has entrusted to you.
2. Take a nature hike in the country or visit a city park nearby.
Focus on the beauty and the freshness of life as you stroll. If you have children with you share basic information about the various plants, trees and shrubs. Keep it brief and make it interesting. Use this time to emphasis the importance of recycling and taking care of our environment.
3. Share the story and meaning of Easter (birth, death and resurrection of Jesus) with someone you just met.
Keep the account brief and make the story interesting. Let the person you’re sharing with ask questions and relate their own viewpoint. Remember this is a time to share not to preach or create dissension.
4. Invite family and friends to your home for a meal.
Before or after the meal take turns reading the Easter story as recorded in Matthew chapters 26-28. Share what it means to you personally. Ask others to share their views as well. Other ideas for sharing include memories from your childhood and ways that you and your family celebrated Easter (include funny or surprising moments).
5. Volunteer a couple of hours at a homeless shelter.
Easter is after all a time of renewal. There’s no better way to celebrate a new beginning than by encouraging others that are struggling with past losses and are feeling disconnected and hopeless. Listen to their story without judgment and offer encouragement when appropriate.
The spirit of Easter (rebirth) can be celebrated everyday regardless of where you happen to be at any particular moment. Take a minute once or twice a day to breathe deeply, stretch, look up and around you and connect with the present. This moment will pass like all the others. Savor it while it lasts.
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