Ideas for an At-Home Easter
On the very first Easter, the disciples were huddled indoors, undoubtedly dealing with fear and uncertainty. Many of our neighbors will be doing the same. They are stuck indoors without the hope that we have in Christ. It was during this time, that many of the disciples encountered the risen Savior. Although this year’s Easter will be very different for most of us, God can still do incredible things. Listed below are a few simple ways to set this week apart while heeding current shelter-at-home regulations:
Churches can purchase prepackaged communion sets which can be mailed, porch-dropped, or located at a pick-up site to utilize with their congregations. Depending on each church’s practices, a guide can be sent out for individual use, churches can utilize online platforms such as Zoom, or members may park in the parking lot (every other space) to conduct a corporate service.
Foot Washing or Serving
Churches can mail, porch-drop, or leave washcloths or small towels at a pick-up location. Members can read John 13:1-17 and have family members wash each other’s feet. Those who are by themselves during this time or are hesitant to wash feet can pick a meaningful way to serve a neighbor or someone else. Place the towel or washcloth where it can be seen as a reminder to serve
All the community egg hunts have been cancelled. These are often used as community building events and can be used as a great way to connect with families. Churches can mail, porch-drop, or have a pick-up location for kits containing plastic eggs and candy. Families can drop off notes on neighbors’ porches and ask them if they would like to receive candy-filled Easter eggs in their yard on Easter day. If they would like to participate have them tape the included picture of an Easter egg or a sign that says “egg me” onto the outside of their door. These notes could also be an opportunity to explain that Easter is a special holiday to your family as you celebrate Jesus. You can also include an invitation to an online service in the note or inside one of the eggs. If you know your neighbors well enough, you might be able to skip the note and simply surprise them with the eggs on Easter morning.
Individual families can put their Easter outfits to good use. Children can decorate their bikes and wagons, make signs or banners (Happy Easter, He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed, Jesus is Alive, Hope Lives, etc.) or homemade instruments, go for a walk down the sidewalk in the neighborhood (stay more than six feet away from anyone else who happens to be walking) wearing their Easter outfits. This is an opportunity to wave to any elderly neighbors.
Churches can have members come to the church parking lot in vehicles to worship together. Members must stay inside vehicles and if windows are down, they must be separated by at least one parking space. Pastors can use PA systems, bull horns, or FM transmitters (you must check FCC guidelines for transmitter use) to share with their members.
Passover commemorates God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. Many elements also point to the Messiah. Church members can watch a video of someone conducting a Messianic Seder or, since Passover is often celebrated at home within families, they can host their own with a guide.
Virtual Tour and Prayer Walk of Jerusalem
Church members can take a virtual tour of Jerusalem to see places mentioned in Scripture. It can also be used as a virtual prayer walk to pray for those who live there and the many people of other religions who travel to visit these locations.
Chalk It Up
Many families already have sidewalk chalk at their house. If not, churches can mail, porch-drop, or have a pick-up location of sets of sidewalk chalk. Individuals and families can then decorate their driveways and sidewalks with pictures and messages of hope. This can also be done on windows with window crayons or markers.
Leave a note on porches a few days before you plan to walk your neighborhood. Let neighbors know that you will be walking down the sidewalk with a camera or phone camera to take family Easter pictures. If they would like to participate, simply pose on their porches or in their doorways and have them text or email you where they would like the photos emailed (be sure your contact is listed on the note). The note can also explain why you are doing this and can even include an invite to an online church service.