Explaining Easter to Children
Talking about Easter to younger children can be quite challenging. Unlike Christmas with the beautiful tale of the birth of Jesus in the manger and the star of Bethlehem and the presents, the Lenten season is filled with scenes which definitely require Parental Guidance. There’s Judas’ betrayal, the denial of the apostles, and the torture and death of Jesus before the happy ending of the resurrection. It would be so much easier if we could skip the pain and the passion and just go straight to Jesus coming back to life. But then, it would mean making light of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. Here are some ways by which you can explain Easter to your children.
1. Talk about Easter in your family. Don’t leave the discussion of the passion and the resurrection to your child’s Sunday school teachers. It’s easy to say, “Well, they teach these things in school anyway so why bother?” Realize, however, that the lenten season will become more meaningful to your child when the conversation starts with you.
2. Keep the spotlight on Jesus. It’s so easy to be caught up in the commercial trappings of Easter. Hunting for Easter eggs, gobbling up chocolate… these are well and good but always remind your children that Easter is the ultimate expression of Jesus’ love for us. Easter is about forgiveness, resurrection, and the promise of a new life. So go, let your children hunt down that golden egg, but before they go to sleep at night, remind them of the miracle that is the resurrection of Jesus.
3. Be honest. Easter is such a big concept that we might not yet fully understand it ourselves. When your child starts asking tricky questions about Jesus’ death and resurrection, answer in the best way possible. If there are questions that you cannot answer, then be humble enough to admit that you do not know all the answers. Be happy in the thought that your child asking questions means he is growing in faith, and perhaps the two of you can grow in faith together by studying the Scripture more closely.
4. Observe Lent at home. You need not go to a Pabasa ng Pasyon to experience the meaning of Lent. Lent is about thinking of ways to grow closer to God. Help your children discover ways on how they can achieve this. It could be giving up their Internet time to devote more hours in prayer or doing acts of kindness for family, friends, or members of the community.
5. Be faithful to the Scripture. When talking about Easter, stick to what the Bible says. Avoid making up stuff to sugarcoat events or adding gory details about the death of Jesus. If you have younger kids, highlight the positive elements: Though Jesus died, he came back to show us that there could be life after death. If you have older kids, emphasize the promise of forgiveness for sins committed. If your child feels sad, that’s okay. Feeling sad will only make him more appreciative of the joyful moments in his life.