|Photo by Rumman Amin on Unsplash|
Written by Eryn Austin-Bergen
One of our favourite things about Easter Sunday is the table feast.
Early in our marriage, my husband and I realized we love feasting with friends, neighbours, and even strangers on this high, holy day. We’ve taken to cooking huge meals and inviting as many people as we can cram around our table to celebrate the hope and joy our good God brings to us in Jesus’ resurrection.
But, even though Easter is not as wrapped in tinsel as Christmas, it’s still easy for Jesus to get lost in the scramble (pun intended!) of preparing and celebrating a holiday.
When we add to that holy chaos a life-sized Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs, it’s not hard to see why our children struggle to focus on Jesus at Easter time! The longer I parent, the more I realize that it doesn’t work to try and impress the gravity of Easter on my seven-year-old the day we’re putting on our new dresses and chattering about Easter egg hunts.
No, the gravity of Easter has to start long before then…364 days before on Easter Monday, and everyday thereafter. And as on Easter Sunday, for our family, that focus on Jesus happens around the table.
Eating dinner together has always been a centering moment for our families', and my husband and I are trying our best to do the same with our children. Whatever chaos the day has held, we sit down together at 5:30 PM (yes, I know, we eat very early!), hold hands, and pray.
Whether we sing of God’s goodness or speak a simple thanks for the food, we pause to acknowledge there is One who loves us and gave himself for us and daily provides all that we need. It’s a hectic, sacred moment with a hungry toddler and seven-year-old. But, as hard as it can be to make it happen every day, I’m clinging to it for all I’m worth.
I’m trusting that this 45 second moment of prayer is sinking deep into my children’s bones. I’m trusting that the words we say are shaping the way they see the 364 days between Monday and Sunday so that when Easter rolls around, they are ready to celebrate the One with whom they have daily walked all year long.
So, here’s one of my favourite prayers that I hope you try this Sunday at your Easter table, and maybe every-so-often after that. This prayer not only brings us to a moment of focus on Jesus, but launches us into a life of daily walking his ways as a family.
Thank you for defeating death
by dying and being resurrected to new life!
Call us daily into new life with you
and give us the power to follow.
Thank you for all your gracious gifts -
for this good food
you’ve given to us,
bless it to our bodies
and please show us
how to share our food
with those who are hungry.
We love you!
If you want to know more about how one, ordinary family walks out this prayer, check out this blog post for five practical ways to walk out the prayer, “please show us how to share our food with those who are hungry.”