We are experiencing history. The year 2020 will be remembered decades from now as the year of the coronavirus pandemic. I don’t imagine there is anyone reading this who has escaped loss. As for me, I should be 500 miles away visiting my sweet grandsons. I should be preparing for the May beach vacation where all of my family planned to gather together. Instead, I’m looking at spending the upcoming Easter alone. I suspect that describes most of you.
Are you tempted to ignore the day? Skip the painful reminder that things aren’t as they should be? There are many compelling reasons to celebrate.
Celebrating Easter should shift our focus from our loss to our gain. A missed beach vacation pales in the shadow of the crucifixion. The sense of isolation disappears when we rejoice in the joy of the resurrection.
At a time when it’s hard to keep track of days and dates, a celebration shows the distinctiveness of time. A small return to normalcy. Research shows the emotional benefits of celebrating both big and small occasions. It decreases anxiety and improves physical and mental health. Psychologist Chris Johnstone says, “Without celebration, we wither away.” Just this morning, I celebrated amazing sun rays casting a surreal beauty on a dogwood and colorful azaleas. Don’t lose those moments. Don’t wither away.
An Easter celebration in 2020 won’t look the same as years past and years to come, so why not make it unique? Here are some suggestions.
- Create a prayer guide for the week. Having a plan for prayer helps to stay focused. Right now, prayer needs are abundant. God hears our prayers and answers them. They have eternal significance.
- Read scriptures that walk you through the events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. No matter how familiar, there’s power in revisiting those words.
- Take advantage of the many livestreamed church messages. This time of staying home is a reminder of the truth we already know—the church is not a building. My church is vibrant and active doing kingdom work, even though the doors are closed.
- Contact old friends with whom you have lost touch. For the past week, I’ve tried to make two contacts daily to a friend I haven’t seen for a while. Scroll through your contact list and make a personal touch. You’ll be blessed and will be a blessing to others.
- Take advantage of the many creative ways to use the internet. ZOOM is the current buzzword. I’ve talked with friends from church, but oh the joy of seeing eight precious faces on my screen, talking and laughing together.
- Missing little ones? My grandson and I have done mystery bags via Facetime. He puts an item in a bag and gives me three clues. I do the same for him. Only one of many kid-friendly things to do from afar.
- Bake something traditional for Easter. Hot cross buns, resurrection rolls, crown of thorn crackers. Google “Easter Story Lunch.” Let your food tell a story.
- Make a craft to celebrate the resurrection. Pinterest is overflowing with ideas. If you pre-plan, you can do this together via facetime.
- A few friends are planning a virtual ladies’ lunch. We will brown bag a lunch and meet online. I expect a lunchtime filled with love and laughter.
Celebrate the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ. It won’t be the same as years past, but it can be meaningful. It may even springboard new traditions. Please share your ideas. I’d love to hear how you will celebrate.