BLOG BY Lani Hilton, April 10, 2018
Often we get so focused on the commercial part of Christmas and Easter that we forget the true purpose of the sacred event. Once the day has passed, some may feel relief that it’s all over and move on to the next thing, whatever that may be. I love this article because it clearly demonstrates how we can enjoy this holy time even when it’s over, and the teachings of Jesus Christ don’t have to be limited to just the one day. The hustle and bustle of the commercialism that overwhelms us are out of the way and our focus is adjusted to what we should be truly celebrating–Jesus Christ. THIS IS GREAT NEWS!
Do you ever cry the day you take the Christmas tree down? I sometimes do. I have also felt the same sadness when Easter ends. My deep love of Easter came after reading A Christ-Centered Easter by Joe and Janet Hales. Its premise is compelling. The authors suggest shifting secular Easter activities (such as the Easter Bunny) to earlier in the season (the “Spring Bunny”) so the family can focus on the significant events of the Savior’s final days of mortality during Easter week. These meaningful traditions during Holy Week became one my children looked forward to. The Savior was actually central to our family’s Easter season, and His Spirit was felt more abundantly in our home.
But one particular year when life seemed extra crazy, we didn’t do all I hoped to do in the days and weeks leading up to Easter. Easter Sunday came to a close, and I felt a mix of sadness and regret because this holy time was over and I felt like I had shortchanged my family. As I turned to the scriptures for solace, hope filled my heart. Clearly, earthly experiences with the resurrected Lord were not limited to one day, so our celebrations and teachings need not be limited to one day. What great news!
We rightly focus on Mary Magdalene as the first witness to Christ’s Resurrection early Sunday morning; the Lord also appeared to His disciples that evening. But Jesus also appeared to His disciples a week later in Jerusalem, then again in Galilee (at least a week later), and on further occasions until His ascension into heaven 40 days later. Forty days later! Strangely, we often neglect this time period of the Lord’s ministry.
Thankfully, I realized we could focus on these post-Resurrection scriptural accounts during family time on Sundays following Easter. Of course, our thoughts, especially on the Sabbath, should always focus on the Savior; however, the timeline after the Resurrection provides simple direction for discussions. Specific methods for celebrating post-Resurrection events will vary, but if your overall goal is to allow the joy of the Savior’s Resurrection to permeate your home for weeks on end, you can’t go wrong.
To read the full post on LDS.org including a guide for filling the seven Sundays following Easter with Easter remembrance, click here.