Easter will be different this year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Larry and I must stay home. My kids and grandkids have to stay inside their homes too. Bummer. I like my Easter traditions, and I can’t imagine not doing what we always do on Easter Sunday.
Every year, we attend a Sunrise Service where we watch and wait for the sun to rise, announcing Easter morning. Then we go to church. We listen to the brass, organ and choir, and sing the hymns of celebration and triumph like, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” and “The Hallelujah Chorus.” We hear the Good News of Easter which lifts our hearts. Then we gather with the family at my house for an Easter Egg Hunt for all ages, followed by an Easter meal.
Even though Easter will be different this year, I resolve to honor our family traditions in new ways. Here are four ways I’m going to do that:
- I can still participate in a Sunrise Service: Larry and I can get up early, pour a cup of hot coffee, put on some beautiful Easter music, turn off all the lights, pull a chair up to the window, and watch and wait for the sun to rise. (If you live in a warmer climate, you can go outdoors to watch the sunrise.)
- I can still hear the songs and the brass and the scriptures and the Good News message via the internet or television or radio!
- In the place of our traditional family Easter Egg hunt I will: fill plastic Easter eggs with Cadbury Eggs, coins, balloons, Dove candies, Silly Putty, and whatever my imagination suggests. I will write each of my kids’, grandkids’ and great-grandkids’ names on their eggs. Then I will send a package with the eggs to each family a week or so before Easter with a note, “Do not open until April 12!” Hopefully this will build anticipation and excitement. (Thank you to my friend and colleague Wendy Haverdink for this idea.)
- Instead of a physical gathering of my family, I will initiate a “Group Easter Email.” A few days before the Easter packages from Idea #3 arrive, I’m going to send a group email to my kids and grandkids. In the subject line, I’m going to write something catchy like “Let’s celebrate Easter 2020 – Apart, But Together!” In the body of the email, I will let my family members know that they will get a package that they must wait until Easter Sunday to open. I’ll ask my family members to take a picture of themselves and include that picture when they REPLY ALL to the email that I sent a few days earlier. I’ll ask them to include a little note about how they are spending the day (or maybe one thing they have been grateful for during this unusual season.) This will help my whole family stay engaged with each other– which is especially helpful to families who are geographically dispersed.
Yes, our Easter celebrations will be different this year, but there are ways to celebrate Easter and still honor social distancing which is vital at this time in our lives. AND even though our celebration may be different, the same Good News of Easter remains:
“God so loved the world that he gave us Jesus” John 3:16
Jesus, who shows us how to live; so that, we might have abundant life
now and forever. We are known, loved, forgiven; so that, we can love
God, our neighbors and ourselves.