This was the first Easter I set about explaining the Resurrection to the kids. Maybe that comes as a surprise to some, or a disappointment in me as a Christian parent, but I didn't want to do it... wrong. I wanted them to be able to grasp it all -- the sorrow of Jesus' death, then the waiting, the joy, the relief, the salvation. We talk about God all the time. It's a part of our daily life, our daily conversation. I haven't felt the need to jump into the theology and the story of Jesus' death until now. I think he gave me the nudge, so I went for it.
I'm not that confident in how I teach them, but I took the weeks leading up to Easter to tell it this way:
God is so holy and perfect and good,
that he is too wonderful for us to be with him,
because we aren't perfect.
But he loves us so much,
that he gave us his son Jesus.
And Jesus died for us, so when our bodies die here on earth,
we can still live in heaven, where everything in wonderful
and there is no sadness or scary things
and we are always happy and with God forever.
(I have explained before that we are souls and our souls live in our body here on earth. Our soul is who we are -- it is the part that thinks and feels and loves. Our bodies are like a house for our soul.)
But Jesus was so powerful,
that not even death could hold him down!
So three days later, he came back to life,
and now he lives forever in heaven,
just like we will live forever in heaven.
God has victory (explaining that victory means that "God has won") over death and that's why Jesus rose from the dead.
I got surprisingly emotional when I was telling them this. Repeating the story in such simple terms really resonated with me. I want my kids to find their joy in Christ. More than anything.
The death topic has come up a lot lately, and frankly it makes me uncomfortable because I just wish I could tell my sweet, innocent babes that nothing bad will happen, ever. But I think part of having a belief in Christ as the Savior is that victory over death... so when the subject has come up in the past with River, I tell him even though death seems like the worst thing here on earth and it's very sad when people die, we will see when we die that it's actually not that sad at all, because we get to be in heaven with God and all the people we love.
Who knows, I'm probably way over complicating it for their age, but he is so curious and introspective, and asks so many questions. Questions upon questions. I don't want him to feel like I withheld answers from him when he was young because I didn't like his questions. (I don't not like his questions; I'm very happy to have a bright boy who uses his noggin. :) I just don't want him to have that impression as he grows older.)
Easter this year was pleasant, but uneventful. I was sick and Chase was getting over the same thing, so we stayed home. We didn't go to my parents' unfortunately, because I didn't want to infect everyone, but John took the kids to church and when they came home, we fed Chase her first solid -- carrots, because duh. :) And since we clearly need almost a dozen pictures to remember this special event. here you go: