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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Celebrating the True Meaning of Easter

How do you celebrate Easter with your children? Do they see Easter as bunnies and candy or as a celebration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ?
We try to let our children enjoy all the fun of baskets, egg hunts and candy while still keeping our eyes pointed towards Jesus.
A long time ago, my wise MOPS Mentor shared her ideas for Easter. She suggested doing baskets, egg hunts, the Easter Bunny and all the secular fun things on Saturday. Then spend Easter Sunday focusing on the real meaning of Easter. I took her idea and ran with it--and Sean & I are thrilled with the outcome in our family. Our kids get to participate in all the fun things and activities and get the candy they seem to think is so necessary for life. Yet, when Sunday morning comes, we head to church and spend a family day. We talk about the Easter story and often read it from one of their youth Bibles. We allow them to have fun while reminding them of the truth.
Another popular way to teach children about Easter is making Resurrection Cookies with your children. I've done this in a church setting and it is a lot of fun.
NOTE--you make the cookies on Saturday night, but can't eat them until Sunday morning. (I don't want anyone to think it's a Sunday-only activity.)
"Resurrection Cookies"
~Also known as Easter Story Cookies~
This is a great recipe to teach your Children the REAL story of Easter. That the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior is not dead but has Risen. We serve a Risen Savior......
This activity can be done as a "family" or for Sunday School. Of course the Sunday School option might be to hand it out to the class with a note to the parents. Grandparents might considering doing this with their grandchildren this year too!!!

So Grab your Apron and Let's Get Started!!!!!!!
You will need:
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
a pinch salt
1 cup sugar
a zipper baggy
1 wooden spoon
scotch tape
Bible

Instructions:These are to be made the evening before Easter. Preheat oven to 300F.
*** (this is very important --- don't wait until you are half done with the recipe).
Place pecans in zipper baggy and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested. He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read: John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink.
Read: John 19:28-30

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read: John 10:10&11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read: Luke 23:27

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read: Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read: Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
Read: Matthew 27:57-60

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.
Read: Matthew 27:65-66

GO TO BED!

Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read: John 16:20&22

On Resurrection Sunday (Easter) morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read: Matthew 28:1-9

1 comment:

Gwengom said...

Thanks for such a great and meaningful recipe, Robyn!
What a beautiful tradition!!

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