My life objective is to ensure that our grandchildren and their generation celebrate Easter for the rest of their lives.
Why the dramatic focus?
Here’s my thinking. There is little likelihood of Christmas fading into the background of Canadian culture. On the other hand, Easter is in danger of becoming a distant memory.
Christmas time is magical. Gift giving, eggnog, Christmas carols, candy canes, Christmas lights, family gatherings and holidays all wrapped up in childhood memories. Everybody loves the season. Christmas shopping is a financial juggernaut with its Black Friday sales, pre-Christmas sales, and Boxing Day sales. The Christmas story is wonderful. A poverty-stricken, teenage mom giving birth in a barn to a baby who is celebrated by his own star and gift-bearing wisemen from the East.
Christmas is for everyone, the religious and the irreligious, agnostics, or atheists.
Easter Is a fun time as well with its Easter Egg hunts, chocolate, and a long weekend. Google “Easter” and see what comes up in stories and images. Good Friday remains embedded in the Canadian lexicon, although it’s confusing why a day that remembers the horrific execution of a Jew has anything to do with Hindus or Sikhs. The Easter story is a lot less endearing and inclusive than Christmas. It’s far more Christian than Christmas.
But with Christianity on a downward trend how long will Easter be anything more than a fading memory of Christendom?
Less than 10% of Canadians are active churchgoers, down from 64% in the ‘50s. More and more active Christians are staying home on Easter Sunday morning to bake a ham or roast some beef in preparations for a family meal. Some churches are now hosting their big productions on the Sunday before Easter because volunteers are down on the long weekend.
The Crux of Christianity
Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. This is the crux of Christianity. An entire generation is growing up with little, or no knowledge of the real meaning or significance of Easter. Canada has shifted from the dominant influence of Christendom (1867-1980) to post-Christian (1980-2021) and now to pre-Christian.
As a Christian father it’s my calling to ensure that my children know about Jesus and that I support them in following Jesus as God and Saviour. Our five grandchildren are included in that responsibility. I want them to know the wonder of God and the joy of following Jesus. And it’s not a stretch to also see my grandchildren’s generation celebrate the true meaning of Easter as my responsibility. That’s what Jesus called his followers to be about.
My goal isn’t to ensure that Easter remains embedded in the Canadian culture, but that it’s meaning is embedded in the heart and minds of my grandkids. I want them to experience the love of and beauty of Jesus. Their experience will never put them at the mercy of someone with an argument. The beauty of Jesus can withstand the strongest arguments.
I asked around to parents and grandparents about how they’re helping their families to ensure that they celebrate Easter for the rest of their lives. The list includes:
read the Easter story from the Bible with the family.
explain the resurrection to their children.
go to church on Easter Sunday.
have a family meal on Easter Sunday.
tell their children about what their faith in Jesus is all about.
I’d love to hear your ideas on the subject. What are you doing to ensure that your children, grandchildren, and their generations will celebrate Easter for the rest of their lives? Join the conversation and leave a comment below.
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