Yesterday, the ladies of my church gathered for a brunch. I enjoy getting together with people, especially other Christians, almost any time and yesterday’s brunch was excellent. The ladies who organized it used the time to give us ideas on how to make the Easter/Lent season focus our families on Christ, and not on the Easter Bunny or new dresses.
Bret and I have known for a long time that there are aspects of the different holidays that we do not want to emphasize or practice in our home, but it has been more difficult to find ways to replace those worldly traditions with traditions that bring our focus back to Jesus. I think traditions are important; they help unify a family, and we want our traditions to unite us under God. I don’t think the solution is just not to do certain things without replacing that with something that is God-focused. Does that make sense? We can’t “put off” one practice, without “putting on” something different. The brunch yesterday greatly helped me with ideas of what to “put on” for our family.
One thing that was great for me to be reminded of is that we need times and days to particularly remember and celebrate what God has done for us. In the Old Testament, God provides those days throughout the year for His people. As Christians, celebrating Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving and even birthdays with a Godward focus give us specific seasons and days to remember God’s goodness and faithfulness to us. They are also great opportunities to be purposeful about sharing Christ and practicing hospitality with other people.
My favorite thing they suggested yesterday was a Lenten Lights celebration. This is a devotional that can be ordered here or downloaded for free from the same place. There are 7 readings that can be done in the weeks before Easter, or nightly starting the Saturday before Palm Sunday. It is designed so that the booklet can be used individually or as a family and may be paired with lighting candles.
I am excited about planning and being creative with different ways to point Bret and me, and one day our child to Christ through the different holidays. What are some ways that you, dear reader, make holidays God-centered in your homes? I’d love to hear your ideas.