At the last supper with His disciples, Jesus told them to “do this to remember me.” (Luke 22:19 NLT) There’s something significant about traditions, about doing something that means something in order to remember something important. As a family, we want to create traditions that have significance, that point our hearts to something, to Someone…I want traditions that help us remember.
We’re big about traditions around Christmastime. We have an Advent calendar and countdown to Christmas, we have special family nights full of fun activities and crafts, we read stories and we sing Christmas songs. This past Christmas season, we even started a Jesse Tree and added ornaments each day and had a special devotional together every night…we read stories from the Bible leading up to the birth of Jesus. (We used the book, The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp as a guide). We did all those things because Christmas is a special day…it’s the day we remember Jesus’ birth.
But Easter….for some reason, I’ve never put nearly as much into Easter traditions. I mean, we color eggs and put out Easter baskets and have Easter egg hunts…but as far as traditions that help us remember what Easter is really about…well, we don’t have many of those. Last year, I started rethinking how we do Easter. I wanted to be more intentional. I wanted my girls to know – to really, truly, deep down KNOW – the meaning of Easter. And I want them…I want us all…to remember.
So we started small last year. We added one tradition: A family Last Supper Meal. I had read about a Christian Passover Meal/Messianic Seder, and was very interested in doing something similar because it has so much significance and meaning to it. But I wasn’t quite sure if it would work for our family, and I wasn’t really confident enough to properly pull off the whole Passover meal…maybe one day I will try it…but I did want to teach my girls about Passover, and the significance of the Last Supper. So on the Friday before Easter, we baked unleavened bread and talked about the Last Supper. We read from the Old Testament and learned about Passover, and what it meant. And then we broke bread together and drank sparkling grape juice together and read through the verses in Luke 22 about Jesus' last meal with His disciples.
It ended up being one of my most favorite nights we've ever had as a family. It’s definitely a tradition that we will continue every year.
And this year I want to be even more intentional as we lead into Easter. So I've been working on some family devotions that will help us learn more about the life of Jesus and prepare our hearts as we get ready to celebrate the most important event in all of history: Jesus’ Resurrection.
Along with the devotionals, I also designed some pictures that go along with each story. Then I turned those pictures into ornaments that we will use on a special “tree” that we will add to throughout the two weeks leading up to Easter. We’re calling it our “Jesus Tree.”
(The Jesus Tree is not my own original concept. I’ve been reading and researching a lot lately, and I was inspired by others who do similar things with their families…there are really SO many great resources and ideas out there! You can search Pinterest or Google and find tons of ideas for Easter Trees or Jesus Trees, and lots and lots of resources for Easter devotionals or Lent devotionals. I was particularly inspired by Ann Voskamp and her blog at annvoskamp.com. She does an Easter Tree, and she has a GREAT resource on her site with family devotions and pictures for ornaments as well. You can check her resources out here: Free Family Lent Easter Devotional.)
I ended up deciding to focus on stories from the life of Jesus, so I wrote my own devotions for our family and gathered an assortment of activity ideas, and put them all together in this Easter Family Devotions Kit. And I’d love to share it with you! Because maybe - just maybe - I’m not the only mom who struggles with being intentional about celebrating Easter. Maybe I’m not the only mom who has spent more time picking out pretty dresses and filling Easter baskets than I have picking out meaningful Bible stories to tell my girls and filling their hearts and memories with meaningful traditions that help them truly remember Jesus. Maybe I’m not the only one who has been so busy just trying to survive life that I have failed to take the time to share HIS life.
I put together this kit for my own family. I picked stories that I felt would prepare our hearts for Easter, and I designed the ornaments using symbols I thought would help trigger our memory of the stories. Please feel free to use this kit as a starting point for your own family Easter celebrations. But also feel free to add to it and personalize it for your own family.
I have provided a lot of different activities in this kit. But our family will not do all of these activities. The whole idea is to be intentional about celebrating Easter, but not to make it so busy that we are stressed and exhausted by the time we get to Easter Sunday. I provided multiple activities so that you could see how easy it is to extend the devotions if you want to. For our family, we will choose probably two or three activities that work best for our family, or that are most meaningful to us, and focus on doing those. But most nights, we will simply talk about the Bible story and add our ornament to our Jesus Tree. So please do not feel like you have to do everything.
The point is not to add more to your already busy family schedule…the point is just to intentionally slow down and focus on what is most important this Easter season.
Maybe your family is in a season where you can easily do an extra activity every day and it adds meaning and fun to your family, not stress and busyness. If that’s where you are, great! Do it! You can even look for more ideas online – there are so many fun ideas out there that can help connect your kids’ hearts to Jesus!
But if your family is in a season that is already busy and full, maybe what works best for you would be to just focus on slowing down long enough to read a Bible story together every night…maybe print the ornaments and just hang one on your Jesus Tree each day and that’s it. Even just doing that alone will make an impact on your family, by intentionally turning your hearts toward Jesus this Easter season.
So take these ideas, take these resources, and tweak them and make them work for your family, in your season, where you are now. Even if you just try one thing…just start one tradition this Easter…just one thing that points your family to Jesus…it will make a difference.
What is included in this kit:
- Directions on how to make a Jesus Tree.
- 14 Days of Family Devotions – each devotion has a scripture reading, some questions, and a prayer prompt.
- Set of 14 Jesus Tree Ornaments – these are hand-drawn images, each one corresponds to a Bible story from the devotions.
- At least 1 extra activity idea per day. (Crafts, activities, recipes, etc.)
- Extra Resources – all recipes, craft instructions, and activity directions are included in the kit.
- A Last Supper Meal – detailed, step-by-step information for making this special meal happen for your family, including a printable for your table decorations.
Wishing you so much joy as you intentionally focus on Jesus this Easter!