I grew up Catholic, so my understanding of the season of Lent is quite different than those that do not have a background in which Lent was observed. Over the years, I have shifted more and more in my faith and now attend a bible fellowship church with my husband and our children. With this said, though, I still find that a true understanding of Lent and the admiration of what it stands for is extremely important for all practicing Christians. Lent is not just for Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans ….. it is for all Christians who choose to take time to prepare for the death and resurrection of Christ.
I recently downloaded and listened to a podcast from Countryside Christian Fellowship in which the pastor, Terry Dawson, who was raised as a Quaker, discusses Lent from a Protestant perspective. I found his teaching quite convicting. Lent is simply a season (40 days + 6 Sundays) beginning with Ash Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras, and ending with Easter (the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ). This 40 day season has been observed for over 1,000 years and is a time of prayer, reflection and preparation. Through focused and powerful prayer, we can learn to commemorate and truly understand the sacrifice that was made for us over 2,000 years ago. We take this time to prepare for the greatest gift ever given.
So, why did I title this article Easter vs. Christmas? Well, within this podcast, Pastor Dawson touched on a topic that I honestly have never thought about until the day I listened to his sermon.
Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. It is a time in which we celebrate Advent, another time in our calendar year, in which we prepare. Advent joyfully prepares us for the birth of our Savior. Interestingly enough, whether one is Christian or not, millions celebrate this season! We string lights up, sing Christmas carols, gather as family and friends in joyful nature.
Easter, on the other hand, is not as admired. Lent is a 40 day time of preparation to the death of Christ. Now, yes, I don’t think it’s as much fun to honor a birth than a death, BUT the death and subsequent resurrection of Christ is by far the greatest gift and moment in history.
So, accepting this truth, why don’t we celebrate Easter as we do Christmas?
We may attend church on Easter Sunday morning, but the rest of the holiday is shared in Easter egg hunts, Cadbury cream eggs, and such. My husband and I are not going to forgo the joy of sharing the Easter bunny with the kids while they are small, but why not incorporate Christ and his sacrifice into Easter?
Taking cue from this Pastor, we are going to consider sharing a gift with the children in the morning as well, along with a toddler appropriate story as to WHY we even have Easter to celebrate!
Consider how you could take the extra step in sharing the Resurrection of Christ with your children!
Here are some fun activities that I have found (and pinned) over the last year that I am excited to share with my kids this Lenten and Easter season! Feel free to share your ideas too!
She is proud of her Christian faith and love of God, her amazing husband and 2 beautiful children!