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Passover and Easter Recap

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EasterRecap

God invented holidays as a way to remember, teach, and pause.  Easter is the richest week of the year, and we have compiled all of our posts that discuss how you can make this season come alive for you and your family.

Don’t try to do all of these things this year (goodness knows we don’t have time to do that either!), but let God lead you to pick one or two that are just exactly what you need.

Remember – He is Risen! 

Palm Sunday – Mighty and Meek

Palm Sunday – The revelation of our humble king, full of power and peace.  Mighty, yet meek.

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Holiest Week With Your Kids

When you talk about Who He is, what He has done for you, who we are in Him, and what we can do as a response, that makes it holy. Every week is holy, if you are purposeful.  Here are some ideas for celebrating the Holiest Week with your family.

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Passover With Your Kids – Simplified

Passover can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with it.  Here is a straightforward way to understand the deep roots of the Easter season.

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Passover and Easter Fun

Calling all parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, boys, and girls!  Here are some fun Easter activities that we’ve found, but we want to know what cool ideas you’ve had.  Please share these with your friends, and share your ideas with all of us.

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Passover:  Deep Meaning and Tradition

Passover:  Deep meaning behind the tradition.  Click here to learn about the Yeast, the Lamb, and the Cup.

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Passover Meal How-To: How-To Guide for having your own Passover celebration.

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Passover: The 4 Cups

For thousands of years before the tiny Communion cup there were the 4 #Passover cups!

The key symbolic pieces of the Passover meal are eating of the Matzah bread, the Seder plate and the drinking of four glasses of wine. Today we are going to talk about the four glasses of wine. These are drank throughout the meal and each has a specific and deep meaning.

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Countdown to Passover

Easter and Passover are coming up soon, so it’s time to begin preparing ourselves for this meaningful time.

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Passover:  From Moses to Me

Countdown to Easter/Passover…

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Passover:  The Seder Plate

Do you know what the Seder Plate is?  Do you know what it means and what it can teach you and your kids?  Find out here:

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Uncomfortable, Stinky, Beautiful, Servant Leadership

In between the triumph of Palm Sunday and the tragedy of Good Friday, we find a perfect example of servant leadership in action.

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Good Friday:  Not Fair

As we approach Passover/Easter, we want to highlight some of the lessons from Jesus’ last week.

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Good Friday:  I Thirst

The thirst we feel is a spiritual thirst!  This thirst is no less real than our physical thirst.

God put a thirst for Himself inside every heart – a longing that has been unquenched since Eden.

The next time you are thirsty or hungry or lustful or restless, don’t turn to Facebook or calories.  Turn your face to heaven and say “Abba, I thirst! I am thirsty, and only you can satisfy me!”  God has not forsaken you, and in him you will find the comfort that you seek.

Remember friends, your suffering is real.  Your longing is real.  Your thirst is real.  Without your spiritual thirst, you would be as good as dead!  But do not be deceived – you thirst for God!  Reach out to Him, and in Him you will find what you need.

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Countdown to Pentecost:

Whew, Lent, Passover, Last Supper, Good Friday, Bad Saturday, Easter Sunday are past.  Not it’s 7 weeks until Pentecost.  Let the countdown begin!

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Holiest Week With Your Kids

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Cross

Traditionally this is called Holy Week, which is a great name for it.  “Holy” is the only word that can begin to describe what Jesus did for us 2,000 years ago.  But I would challenge you that this week is not the only week that is holy.  Every week can be holy.  If our year is a song, holy week is the crescendo of the chorus, which is followed by many more verses of quieter, but equally beautiful music.

Holy means ‘set apart,’ or ‘consecrated.’  Next week when your daughter gets an A+ on her math test, that is an opportunity to make something holy.  When your son is terrified of going to bed in a dark room, you can make that holy.  When you lose your temper and yell at the kids for goofing off instead of doing what you told them to do, there is holiness there too.  When you invite God into a situation, you make it holy.  When you talk about Who He is, what He has done for you, who we are in Him, and what we can do as a response, that makes it holy.

Every week is holy, if you are purposeful.

Here are some resources to make set aside this week and make it holy with your family.

Passover and Easter Fun

Crafts, food, activities and more!

April Storytime – Easter Week

Great stories and activities with your kids.

Passover With Your Kids – Simplified

Passover is an amazing tradition that reminds us of our heritage.  This is the ‘short version’ for you and your kids.

These 5 posts go a little bit deeper:

Passover: Deep Meanings Behind the Tradition

Passover From Moses to Me

Passover Meal – How To

Passover: The 4 Cups

Passover: The Seder Plate

Uncomfortable, Humble, Stinky, Beautiful Servant Leadership

Before the last Supper, Jesus showed us what “leadership” truly means.

Why We Celebrate Holidays

We love holidays – here’s why!

Lent – Another Chance to Get Beyond the Blur

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Cross

Have you ever stared out the side window of a car?  Even if you are only going 35 mph, the scenery is a blur.  No matter how hard you try to focus, your eyes can’t keep up.  Trees and signs and houses all go past you in an indistinct mix of shapeless colors.

Sometimes life feels like that.

I’m sure that every age has considered themselves busy, but I think that this generation has taken it to a new level.  Never before has it been so easy to sign up for everything and focus on nothing.  If we don’t say “No” five times a day then we will find ourselves enrolled in more events and opportunities than our calendar can handle.  And so, life becomes a blur.

Only by purposefully slowing down and focusing on what is important are we able to escape this rat race.  This change of focus is like looking through the front windshield instead of the side window.  By focusing our eyes on things far ahead of us, we will notice that the scenery slows down.

Paradoxically, by looking farther in the distance we see the important things more clearly.  

For Christians, Resurrection Sunday, aka Easter, is the high point of the year.  Don’t let its significance get lost in the urgency of the daily routine.

Spend some time in the next 40 days to focus your mind on Easter so that you can get beyond the blur.

 

Related Posts and Other Thoughts:

“Part of celebration is anticipation.”

-Pastor Phil Ellsworth

 

Lent: From 60 to Zero

How good are your brakes? Let’s slow our lives down as we approach Easter – we don’t want to miss it!

Lent:  A Family Tradition

Irenaeus celebrated Lent.  Do you?  Everyone knows that the pace of life gets out of control sometimes .  Lent is one way to take back control and slow down.  What are you planning to do?

Focus

When life’s pace pulls you along like whitewater rapids, what do you do to stop and focus?

Why We Celebrate Holidays

For those of you who are forgetful, distractible, and need to be entertained…have I got a deal for you!

Slowing Down at Christmas

Is it a fairy tale to think that you can slow down at Christmas?  Here are a few ideas and compromises we have made to take the hectic out of the holidays:

Hanukkah: 8 Days of Light in 400 Years of Darkness

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Candle

It’s 166 BC.  Imagine you are an Israelite who loves God.  It has been years, no, generations since God has been heard.  No messages to a prophet. No visions to a priest.  No revelation to a king.  No angels appearing.  Nothing.  Imagine the feeling of hopelessness.  Imagine the doubts that would creep in:  “Has God abandoned us?  Does He care?  Will we hear from Him again?”

Wouldn’t you have been worried?  Were God’s chosen people somehow no longer chosen? Continue reading

My God, the Kindergarten Teacher

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Tents5

How do I say this in a way that isn’t blasphemous?  We serve a, um, unique God!

To be completely honest, I think He is just plain unpredictable at times.  Want proof?  God sets up a series of celebrations and ceremonies each year, most of them including feasts and fasts and sacrifices.  Normal religious stuff.  But one of them includes everyone in His nation building little tents and shelters and living in them.  For a week!  Arts and crafts as part of the Torah?  What?

I can only imagine how the dialogue might have gone:  Continue reading

Yom Kippur – Solemn Celebration

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Tabernacle2

On this Yom Kippur, I am struck by this holiday’s contrast.  There was no day more solemn for the Jews, as one of the priests entered the tabernacle’s Holy of Holies to be in the same room as God to atone for the sins of the entire nation!  To be that near to Someone so holy and so powerful must have been awe-inspiring.  To be entrusted with a job so weighty must have been sobering.  Thus Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) is a solemn day, reminding us that we will be judged one last time when we stand before God in heaven.

But on this side of the cross, with the curtain to the Holy of Holies torn open, we can joyfully enter His presence with pure hearts!  Praise God, we are made new!  We can celebrate!

This is our God:

“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”  (Exodus 34:6-7a) 

On this day, remind your kids that they have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and the consequence is death.  But yet, Jesus died for us so that we can be saved!  So solemn, but so much joy!

How will you choose to observe this solemn celebration?

 

Here is our post from last year, with printable Yom Kippur guide:   Continue reading

Good Morning – This Is Your Annual Wake-Up Call

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WakeUp

Wake up calls.

As much as they may jolt us, wake-up calls are a very good thing.  It is a way of ensuring that we do not miss out on the important events of the day.  It gets you out of bed, no matter how dark it is.

Long before there were iPhone Weather Warnings to jolt you out of bed, there were roosters and ram’s horns to do the job.

That would do it, don’t you think?

What does this have to do with a purposeful life, you ask?  Today is the beginning of the Jewish holiday of the Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh Hashanah.  I posted last year about how this holiday is a wake up call for us.  (Instead of a rooster, the object lesson for this holiday was a ram’s horn, which was equally annoying.) Although lesser known, this is in some ways the most exciting original holiday of all, because it is one of 2 that are still unfulfilled.  Think about it: Continue reading

Remembering on Pentecost

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Our family loves holidays – they help us to slow down and take note of what is most important.  This year, coincidentally, Passover falls on Memorial Day weekend.   This is very fitting.  Today we can think about the blessings we have received because of the sacrifices that have been made.

Pentecost:  Blessings Received Through Sacrifices Made

As my daughter discovered recently, the Bible is written like a great mystery novel.  She pointed out that she does not enjoy mysteries that are too obvious with their clues…she wants to be surprised at the end.  In that light, Pentecost makes a lot of sense.  As we wrote last year, Pentecost has 4 layers:    Continue reading

Passover With Your Kids – Simplified

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SederPlate

The Jewish Passover is tomorrow, Tuesday March 31st.

This is an important holiday in Jewish history and it is important for Christianity too. We typically celebrate Passover the Thursday before Easter since that is when Jesus would have celebrated it with the disciples for the last time. That was the year He gave us an amazing gift.

The whole Passover meal and celebration can be very overwhelming, especially if you are not Jewish and don’t know all the rules. This however shouldn’t stop you from talking about this important event in history with your kids. My goal today is to place in your hands a simplified version of the Passover meal, one that you can experience with your children. My prayer is that you begin to instill in your children the depth of meaning this holiday brings and help them realize that God really did have a plan all along! Continue reading

Purim Joy

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Noisemaker

Christianity is full of life, liberty, and the pursuit of joy!

As Ann Voskamp has said it very well:

“Today Joy will not just happen.  Today Joy will not just come unbidden.  Every moment Joy must be taken.  Every moment, Joy must be chosen.  Every moment, Joy must be re-chosen. Because His Joy is your oxygen.”

Today this is an appropriate message because it is Purim, which is a great excuse to have a party! Learn more about it here:

Noisemaker

 

Also, Why We Celebrate Holidays 

 

Other Resources:

Chabad.org