When it comes to kids, Easter can be a complicated story to share: what do you leave in, what do you omit, and how do you describe the events therein? Knowing the difficulties around sharing the Easter story with little ones, we reached out to some of our Promiseland professionals (Willow Creek Community Church’s Kids Ministry Staff) to hear the language and focuses they use in sharing the Easter story. They helped us put together this simple “How to Talk to Your Kids About Easter” guide.
1) Jesus is our Rescuer: Kids might have difficulty understanding that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and sacrificial lamb. However, in putting it in terms kids would understand, we can say, “Jesus is our Rescuer.” Younger ones will be able to comprehend that language easier–when someone is in trouble, a rescuer can come and save them. A great follow-up question to that statement (Jesus is our Rescuer) is “What do I need to be rescued from?” This is a great opportunity to share we all make mistakes and do bad things, but Jesus came to rescue us and save us, so we don’t have to worry about being punished for the wrongs we’ve done.
2) Sad Day to Happy Day: Good Friday (the day Jesus died) is as much part of the story as Easter is (the day Jesus rose again). So, when it comes to how to talk to your kids about Easter, it’s okay to include Good Friday. Helpful language around describing Good Friday and Easter are “Sad Day” and “Happy Day.” It’s okay to tell your kids that Good Friday was a sad day: “Jesus, our Rescuer, died. It was very sad. His best friends and family missed Him. Because He came to rescue us, He had to die. But guess what happened three days later. Count the days with me. 1, 2, 3. Three days later, on Easter, it was a very happy day! Jesus wasn’t dead. He had risen from the grave. He was alive! All of His friends and family were so excited. Our Rescuer was alive again! What a happy day!”
3) Focus on the Celebration: When it comes to how to talk to your kids about Easter, focus on the celebration! Death and dying can be scary for anyone, especially kids, so after you say that Jesus died, be sure to focus on the celebration of His resurrection. And not only that, you can share that Jesus–our Rescuer–is stronger than death. Because He overcame death, He is strong enough to rescue us from anything! A fun way to celebrate is by filling plastic Easter eggs with beads or marbles, then walk around shaking them, shouting, “Jesus is alive!” Have fun coming up with your own ways to celebrate the greatest news of all time: Our Rescuer is alive!
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