Easter: What our entire faith hinges upon.
Without it, we wouldn’t be doing what we do.

It’s the ONE event that changed history.
The ONE event that has the power to change our destiny.

For our family, for our church, it is everything. It is why we spend large sums of money investing in. It is why we spend an absurd amount of hours planning for. 

But it’s so worth it.

It’s worth seeing the joy on faces as they come to our community egg hunt.
It’s worth seeing the smiles on kid’s faces when they’re given candy & prizes just because.
It’s worth seeing the skeptic wondering if it’s really worth their time.
It’s worth seeing the hope in people’s eyes as they walk out of a worship experience for the first time.
It’s worth seeing the wonder that salvation is really free, and it’s really for them.

It’s all worth it.

Here’s a recap of our weekend. 

For our family, we continued to build on what we’ve been teaching our kids.

Personally, I love the Jewish tradition of the Passover Seder. When Filipe and I worked in college ministry, we participated in two of them, and I loved the entire experience. Remembering and understanding the Jewish heritage and tradition was fascinating to me.

I want my kids to grow up understanding it and experiencing it as well. This year we kept it simple, but I hope to build on it and make it part of our family traditions as they grow up.

Last week, during my personal time with God, I read the events leading up to the resurrection in the book of Luke. I was struck with the specifics Jesus gave Peter and John in making preparations for the Passover meal to share together. I thought about what it was like as they followed Jesus’ orders. What was it like as they made arrangements for the meal?

On Good Friday I prepared a special “Passover” meal (it was far from the original Seder) to create opportunities for our kids to experience truths of the Christian faith. I believe they remember best when they participate as much as possible.

They were treated like “big kids” too!

We focused on 4 truths:

  1. Jesus was broken for us.
    I had prepared a loaf of bread and Filipe talked about Jesus’ suffering and his death on the cross. He asked them what on the table could be broken (the girls responded, “bread!”), and showed them how Jesus broke bread for his disciples as we ate together.
  2. Jesus forgives us.
    We gave them sparkling grape juice. Filipe asked what on the table looked like blood (Lily quickly responded, “the juice!”) and he talked about the blood of Jesus and how it represents the forgiveness of sins.
  3. Jesus gives life. 
    We talked about the resurrection of Jesus, and how he gives us life because of it. I made hard boiled eggs and we talked about how eggs represent life. (They didn’t know that one!)
  4. Jesus has a mission for us.
    Filipe’s big assignment for Easter weekend is the Hunt (a huge egg hunt for the community). He spends many hours planning and organizing everything, but we want our kids to understand why. Easter is not about egg hunts, it’s about Jesus, but the Hunt is such a big part of what we do that it can seem like it’s a higher priority to a four & five year old. So, we talked about how Jesus wants us to show love to others so that we can tell them about Him.
    Lily gave invites to all of her classmates that week at school and we told her how she was doing Jesus’s mission. I also made treat bags with Easter invites for our neighbors. We talked about why we do that and why the Hunt is so important for us- to show love to others.

I think they’re getting it. We shared a simple meal together and, Filipe quizzed them on all the facts they learned. As a reward they got an Easter egg cake pop. When dinner was over, we had our own egg hunt and opened Easter baskets.

Saturday morning was the day of the Hunt. My girls were up at 6:30am dressed and ready to go. Too bad it didn’t start until 1pm. When the time came, they were ecstatic. By then, Efraim was just as excited.

Can’t get there fast enough!

 When we arrived one of Lily’s friends from school was there. She was so happy to see her. Her grandparents brought her and we spent the afternoon with them.

Lily & Janessa

The Hunt was the best one we’ve done by far. Over 200 volunteers made it a success. The weather was fabulous, it was fun, and chaos was kept to a minimum.

Smiles were everywhere.

Our three kids were assigned to three different fields. I went with Efraim, my sister-in-law took Cailyn, and Lily went with Filipe.

The 0-2 field getting ready!

Efraim was champ- he couldn’t get any more eggs in his little Elmo bucket.
He got more eggs than his sisters combined!

Cailyn & Tiago, her cousin.

That night we went to my in-laws for dinner and more eggs (chocolate!)

Cousins

This boy knows what’s good!

What a full, fun & busy day!

That night we all collapsed in bed by 8 o’clock. An early morning awaited us.
South Bay had five services- 8:30, 10, 11:30, 1, & 5pm.

I took the kids to the first two services.

We parked down the street from the school.The kids walking to church Easter morning.

After lunch/naps, the kids played at my mother-in-laws house while I went back for the evening service.

Filipe & I Easter night. 

The service at South Bay was outstanding. Pastor Archie did a great job adding creative elements. In one service you heard a little Journey, a rapper, watched two artists paint, heard a phenomenal message by Pastor Andy, and saw a beautiful dance. Over 120 volunteer positions were filled throughout the day, and 1500+ people experienced it all.

So grateful to Jesus, our church, and our volunteers.

It was a beautiful weekend!