COG 49: Easter | Celebrating God
There are so many ways we can celebrate God on Easter without distracting ourselves with pointless traditions and empty entertainment. Today AMBrewster shares 10 Christ-honoring ways you, your family, and your friends can worship God this Easter.
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Hey, everyone, it’s great to be back with you.
I like for us all to take a moment to remember why The Celebration of God exists.
As born again believers, we are disciples of Christ. That’s it. God leaves us on this earth in order to mature in our Christ-likeness and help others do the same through evangelism and discipleship.
That’s our purpose.
One of the prerequisites to this kind of existence is that we must be actually following Christ in order to be His disciple. That means that we go where He goes, talk how He talks, do what He does, and so on.
That level of attention, that level of focus and study and pursual is the act of worship. To value a person that much is to invest great worth in them. That is worth-ship. That is worship. And as we know, to worship is to celebrate and vice versa.
That’s why we’re talking about the Christian Holy Days (or holidays). What better place to start a conversation about celebrating God than on the days that were originally created to be High Feast Days where we set aside the mundane things of this earthly existence and focus all of our attention on God and His goodness . . . even if only for a day.
Of course, that’s not to say that we shouldn’t be worshipping God every other moment of every other day — that is totally the goal.
That’s why we’ve been working through our Celebrating God at church series. Sunday is a weekly holiday intended to focus our attention on the Gospel — the object and the application.
And as The Celebration of God continues, we’ll get more and more specific concerning how we can worship God while at work, doing homework, during meals, enjoying our entertainment, on vacation, mowing the lawn, and a host of other activities.
So, I welcome you to The Celebration of God podcast and encourage you to get involved. Make the decision to approach the worship of God this year in a more intentional way.
And we’ll help you in your discipleship.
But The Celebration of God podcast and blog are not the only resources we have you. We have a growing library of content all about the various holidays which you can find at CelebrationOfGod.com.
And you can also invite me to engage with your church, school, ministry, organization, or business. We can connect virtually or in person to discuss what the Bible says about discipleship, worship, and a host of other topics.
If you’d be interested in inviting me to host an event or participate in an event you already have planned, just go to AMBrewster.com to connect with me.
I look forward to meeting more of you face to face . . . because that’s where the best discipleship happens.
And while you’re at CelebrationOfGod.com, you can access today’s episode notes and transcript on The Blog.
Now, let’s transition and talk about celebrating the highest feast day on the Christian calendar!
In addition to reviewing the concepts we’ve unpacked for previous holidays, I want to provide some Easter-specific ways you can worship God this Easter.
First, let’s talk about the ways we can worship God every day . . . whether it’s a holiday or not.
1. Worship God in Bible study.
We should feel the same way about the Bible as David does in Psalm 119. In Verses 15-16 he proclaims, “I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. 16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.”
Bible reading, study, meditation, and application is the single best thing any and all Christians should do.
And if you’re concerned that if all Christians did that, we’d be no good in this world because we’d all be cloistered away like nuns and monks I’m curious how much of the Bible you’ve read lately.
Yes, reading and studying the Bible require us to be alone with the Scriptures, but we should meditate on Its Truths all throughout the day wherever we are, and we cannot glorify God with our lives if we only ever read the Bible. That would require us to ignore all of the commands that require us to interact with other people! That’s the application part.
So, yes, Bible reading, study, meditation, and application are the best ways to celebrate God this Easter.
To that end, we have a couple different Bible Reading Lists available for you at CelebrationOfGod.com. Just click on Easter and enjoy!
2. Worship God in prayer.
Wouldn’t it be sad if Easter came and went, and we didn’t spend any intentional time talking with God? That’s would be akin to a selfish child who has a birthday party, plays all of the games, opens all of the presents, but doesn’t talk to — let alone thank — any of his guests!
The Son of God Himself illustrated for us the importance of prayer. Luke 5:16 tells us that “Jesus Himself would often slip away into the wilderness and pray.” Even though He was and is the second person of the Godhead, He engaged in purposeful and lengthy times of communication with His Father.
Easter is about the greatest, most divine, miraculous, and amazing gift ever given. Take time this Easter to at least thank the Lord for being so awesome.
Beyond that you could simply talk to Him about your life, pray the Scriptures back to Him, and advocate for others who do not yet know Him.
3. Worship God in discipleship.
We’ll talk more about this next time, but this would include assembling with God’s people on Easter Sunday. Remember, church isn’t about you. It’s about God. And God wants us to interact with one another and disciple one another.
Topics of conversation can obviously include what you’ve been studying in the Word, Justification, Life, and how all of that should affect our daily lives.
4. Worship God in song.
This isn’t a topic I’ve talked about much — and for important reasons. However, I’m going to mention it here because — since Easer is the greatest holiday ever — how could I not mention the importance of singing.
In Exodus 15:1, after experiencing salvation from God in the form of the exodus from Egypt and the destruction of the Egyptian army, Moses and the sons of Israel sang, “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted.” And they recounted His character and deeds.
The Exodus was — among other things — a picture of God’s future salvation. He saves us from our bondage to sin and overcomes the enemies that would drag us back to our former lives. He is definitely worthy of our song.
However, I’m not going to go into any more detail about this just yet. I have a plan for a whole series of episodes about how singing plays into our worship.
5. Worship God in service.
Remember our first point? When we truly read, study, and meditate on the Scriptures, we’re going to desire to live it out.
That is going to involve what Paul says in Philippians 2. Verse 3-4 tell us, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Then He illustrates what this looks like by showing us the mind of Christ who sacrificed Himself for us.
Similarly, in Romans 12:10 Paul teaches, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”
A beautiful example of this was Jesus’ entire life, but specifically the foot washing. Jesus did the job of a slave in order to wash the feet of His betrayer.
Serving God by serving others on Easter would be a wonderful way to worship Him.
Okay, so those are 5 ways we can worship God every day of the year. Now let’s talk about 5 Easter-Specific ways we can give God the attention He deserves.
1. Host or join an Easter Sunrise Service.
Many churches have sunrise services on Easter, and they do it because the Bible tells us specifically that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were heading to the tomb while it was still dark — as the sun began to dawn — and they were the first to hear the glorious news that Christ had risen from the dead.
But even if a church doesn’t have a sunrise service, you can still have one of your own. I would suggest not doing it alone; invite some friends and find a place where you’ll be able to see the sun come over the horizon.
Read the Scriptures that describes Christ’s resurrection and sing some songs.
2. Depending on the age of your disciplees, you could do Easter-themed crafts.
No, I’m not talking about dying eggs. However, I have found a number of ideas online of people doing plastic egg hunts where the contents are elements from the Passion Story. When the children return with the eggs, they open them up and talk about the verses and symbols and whatever else may be in the egg that deals with their salvation.
I found another really fun tradition. You could bake Resurrection Cookies. I’ll include a PDF on the Easter page at CelebratioOfGod.com where you can get the ingredients and recipe, but the creator of the PDF also provided interactive lessons and verses to be read during the preparation.
The baking is designed to be done last thing on Saturday, and the last three steps of the process are these.
— “Give your child a piece of tape to seal the tomb (oven door). Explain the fact that Jesus’s tomb was sealed.”
— “Go to bed! Explain that your child may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. To
a much greater extent Jesus’s friends were sad when He died and was placed in the tomb.”
— “Do not open the oven until the following morning. Allow your children to examine the cookies. They will form small mounds and have a cracked side. When the children taste them, they will discover that the cookies are hollow representing that on the first Easter, Jesus’s friends were surprised to find the tomb empty.”
It sounded like a fun idea!
Other people really enjoy planting Easter Lilies. This is something my family loves as well. There are a lot of reasons the particular flowers are called Easter Lilies. It can be fun learn about the various reasons these flowers have been associated with Easter, but — for sake of time — I’ll let you do that on your own.
3. Be creative with your Celebration Walls.
I mentioned last time how — leading up to Easter — you could decorate your Celebration Wall with elements of Passion Week — palm branches, unleavened bread, a crown of thorns or heavy nails or a cross, and a rock or model tomb.
Then on Easter morning you could roll the rock away exposing the empty tomb or replacing it entirely with an Easer Lily or another representation of the living and conquering Lord.
And since Easter is the beginning of Eastertide just like Christmas is the beginning of the 12 Days of Christmas, you can continue to update your Celebration Wall as we move toward Pentecost.
4. For those of you who are more theatrical, you could reenact elements from the Passion Week.
Many people love to participate in Passion Plays leading up to and including Easter, but you could even do this in the warmth of your own home with your family and friends.
You could choose to reenact the various elements of Passion Week on the appropriate days leading up to Easter, or you could do a synopsis of the week on Easter.
But for those of who who don’t consider yourselves actors, you could still participate in a Passover Meal and/or a foot washing.
And — for those of you who need to move into this category of celebration a little slower — I believe there are some very good movies you could watch.
Now before I talk about our last point, allow me to recap the various ways we can worship God this Easter.
We should engage with the Scriptures, pray to the Lord, participate in discipleship, sing, and serve.
We could also participate in a sunrise service, do Easter crafts, be creative with our Celebration Walls, reenact or view elements of the Passion Week, and . . .
5. Throw an Easter feast.
I’m not certain if you’ve ever noticed the importance God puts on eating.
Yes, it keeps us from dying, but the Lord prescribed various elaborate feasts for His people that He expected them to use an act of worship to Him. Even many of the sacrifices were not burned up completely. They were basically cooked and then used to feed the priests and the families offering the sacrifice.
But — I don’t know about you — I’m really looking forward to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
All of this to say, God has attached feasting to His worship, and I believe it’s entirely appropriate to prepare a special meal to celebrate God on Easter.
Of course — as with many of the ideas we’ve discussed today — we could just as easily do them for our own honor and glory.
I’m not suggesting we try to be the talk of the town or impress anyone with your Easter spread. I’m not suggesting you need to instagram the table and search for likes and affirmation. I’m simply saying that it’s wonderful to serve the people I’m feeding and prepare an exquisite meal to try celebrate the exquisite God we serve.
So, there are 10 ways you can intentionally worship God the Easter. Of course, there are so many other ways we can give our Easter Celebration new life just like Jesus’ death and resurrection gave us new life.
I recommend you use the creativity that is yours — because you were created in the image of God — to plan for something new and exciting this Easter.
And please share with us how you celebrated Easter this year. You can comment on today’s blog post or share something on our social media accounts.
Also, please share this episode with your friends so more and more Christians can join us in our Celebration of God.
And join us next time as we discuss in more detail how we can engage other people in discipleship in and around Easter.
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The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.