©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
“Love, the Easter Bunny” read the card that came with the basket of goodies I found on my front porch as a high school teenager.
After the initial surprise and thrill of the gift, I wanted to know the who and the how. Curious about who sent the basket full of chocolates and an adorable stuffed animal, and how they delivered it without us realizing it, I began naming possibilities.
“Well, we know it wasn’t __________ (name of a boy I dated),” stated my older brother who’d already graduated from college.
“How can we know that?” I wondered if I’d missed a clue.
“It’s easy,” he said with a grin. “Bunny is spelled correctly.”
The delight of Easter – and life – is that we do know who delivered the gift of salvation to us – and that gift is full of something way better than delicious chocolates and melt-in-the-mouth Peeps. Longer lasting than hollow bunnies and faux fluffy animals.
The gift basket God gives us through Jesus’ death and resurrection is full of forgiveness, peace and love that last forever.
Our names are written on his palms, and His name is above all names.
We can know the Who and the How. Intimately. Personally. Eternally.
As we celebrate Easter, let’s check out some creative ways to rejoice in the Gift and glorify the Giver.
Paint or stencil eggs with Scripture references and encourage children to open the Bible and read the particular one they found on their egg.
Watch Carrie Underwood’s My Savior: Live from the Ryman virtual concert on Easter Sunday, April 4 on her official Facebook page. Donations during the streaming event will benefit Save the Children. Carrie’s album of gospel hymns, My Savior, featuring her favorites debuts March 26.
Take flowers or a peace lily along with a hope-filled Scripture to neighbors.
Experience the free Easter Passion: the Final Days of Jesus through Scripture and Song featuring Max McLean and Broadway artists presented virtually by the Fellowship of Performing Arts.
Spend time in a garden. Jesus did. Contemplate examples from God’s creation that demonstrate resurrection or rebirth such as butterflies, bulbs and new leaves on the trees this spring.
Create a display cross out of tree limbs or fashion an Easter door decoration.
Make a list of problems or sins and nail them to a tree in your yard; roll them up and insert into a branch-based cross; or place under a cross in your home as a symbolic gesture of releasing them.
- When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:13-15 NIV
Soak in the words of There was Jesus sung by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton.
Write a list of past hurts or people to forgive and bury them in the ground, or shred and recycle them.
Invite a friend to an Easter service in person or online and then discuss it afterwards. Don’t have a home church to celebrate Easter? Looking for an online opportunity? Come join me as I attend online at the Summit.
Set a place for Jesus at the Easter dinner table or put a cross in the center.
Ask someone at the dinner table to share how they’ve experienced Jesus.
Bake Hot Cross Buns for family and friends to enjoy.
Choose a specific way to worship God this week in addition to a church service.
Watch the Jesus Film.
Look at this special art devotional for Lent.
Decorate a tree – indoor or outdoor – with Easter symbols; tie ribbons to represent specific prayers of thanksgiving.
Fill plastic eggs with Scripture and get children and grandchildren interacting with God’s Word.
Reach out to someone this week with an act of love and kindness that involves a personal sacrifice of time.
Enjoy an Easter Lamb Cake.
- For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:18-21 NIV
Many will celebrate Easter as a holiday, but is it a Holy Day in our hearts?
The celebration comes when we know who God is, how He delivered Love and Mercy, and when we choose to accept the gift of salvation through Christ and enjoy the many blessings that come with it.
Then, unlike that chocolate bunny, our lives aren’t hollow anymore.
- What activity would you like to try this year to focus on Jesus as you celebrate Easter?
- Which Easter memory in your life stands out most to you?
- What song do you most associate/enjoy with Easter and why?
- Do you believe Jesus’ death on the cross covered your sins and that through Him we can have peace, joy and forgiveness on earth as well as everlasting life with Him? (If you’re curious, questioning or unsure, go ahead and talk to God about it. And, if you’d like to discuss it, contact me or reach out to a believer in your community.)
God knows your name and desires for you to know Him fully and enjoy the gift He gives.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. Ephesians 1:3-8a
Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™