Easter is that time of year when chocolate bunnies, jellybeans and technicolored eggs abound. And for a brief moment, pushing, shoving and “give me!” abound as well. Doesn’t it seem odd that the holiday that highlights the greatest sacrifice of all (“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13) would be celebrated with a frenzy of self-interest? Jesus gave up everything, yet for about 5 minutes of fun, we seek to gain as much as possible.
With these thoughts tumbling around in our heads, we decided to opt out of local Easter egg hunts this year. However, not wanting to be like the Scrooge on Christmas, we decided to come up with our own back yard Easter Egg hunt that would highlight the spirit of the season: an Easter Egg Hunt and Give.
Here’s how it works:
- Decide on your “filling.” Since my kids can’t agree on candy (who would think that I would have a child that doesn’t like chocolate!?) we chose quarters.
- Hide the eggs around your yard (or house if it is raining) and give each child a basket for collecting.
- Read the passage highlighted above and ask them what they think it means in light of Easter Sunday. Talk about the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and also about how giving blesses the giver and the receiver.
- Tell them the goal of this hunt is to make sure that every basket has the same composition at the end of the hunt: two of each color, 4 blue/4 pink/4 yellow, or whatever you decide. It is the children’s job to make sure that all end up the same.
- Explain how it works. Every time an egg is discovered, the goal is to give it away, not keep it. However, you can’t just give it to anyone. You have to find someone who is in need of that particular color. If you find a yellow and the goal is no more than two of each color and you find someone who has both yellows already, you will need to find someone else who still needs that color. You can’t search for a new egg until the one you have is given away with a cheery, “Happy Easter!”
- Gather at the end. While this type of hunt ends up “fair” for everyone, we can talk about the fact that what Jesus experienced wasn’t fair. If He were playing, His basket would have been empty at the end. He gave everything up for us. You can read and discuss the following passage:
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:4-11
Easter is a fun and exciting time for children. Let’s make sure that the real reason we celebrate doesn’t get hidden under a layer of fake grass and fuzzy chicks.
He is risen.
He is risen indeed!
[Photo credit: kayrie from morguefile.com]