How Our Family Is Celebrating Easter in the Middle of a Pandemic
In the blink of an eye, our world has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have shuttered our businesses, closed our schools, and learned the meaning of the term “social distancing.” And now we learn that Easter will be celebrated at home this year. A new experience for us all.
Churches have closed their buildings and gone online with their services, with many learning to live stream for the first time. In the process, ministry leaders have scrambled to figure out how to approach ministry with their regular programs cancelled and their worshipping community shrunk to the size of the immediate family.
If there is a silver lining for ministry leaders in all of this uncertainty and change it’s this: as we scramble to adjust our plans, God reminds us of something fundamental: his plan for passing down faith has always been about the family. As families become worshipping communities again, we remember that the first worshipping communities in Scripture were families as well.
Family is the normal context for worship
God’s covenant with Abraham was first for his children and household (Gen. 18:19), and when God’s people entered the Promised Land, he instructed them to pass on his commandments to their children (Deut. 6:6-9). Worship and discipleship have always been generational activities, and the immediate family is essential to raising up a new generation of Christ followers.
Of course, when God made his covenant with Abraham, he was thinking bigger than just Abraham’s immediate family. In fact, God had a larger family in mind, a family of families – one that now includes all believers (Gal. 4:4-7). The church itself is a representative sample of God’s larger family, and we can see the church’s generational responsibility in the corporate language of the Psalms:
“We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.” – Ps.78:4
“One generation commends your works to another.” – Ps. 145:4
Individual families have a responsibility to pass on faith from parent to child, but so does the larger family of God’s people, from generation to generation.
God’s Word is the key
We regularly hear from church leaders who share the same vision, but struggle to implement it. How do we help over-worked, hyper-scheduled parents pass down faith to their kids? Actually, it’s not complicated. A 2017 LifeWay Research study, summarized in the excellent book Nothing Less, indicates that the childhood behavior most likely to lead to spiritual health in adulthood is regular reading of God’s Word. The best thing we can do is teach parents to open God’s Word with their kids. God himself says in Isaiah 55:11, “My word…will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
At Doorpost Songs, we’ve made it our mission to help churches and families accomplish this single goal. Our fun, worshipful songs come straight from Scripture and our unique Family Worship Guides, designed to accompany the songs, are a simple, easy way for parents to start opening God’s Word with their kids.
This year we released an Easter album called God So Loved and an accompanying Holy Week Family Worship Guide that takes families on the journey from Palm Sunday to Easter with short daily devotionals. As we face the prospect of spending Holy Week and Easter inside our homes, our family will be grabbing our Bibles, our Holy Week Family Worship Guide, and sitting down around the table each night to tell the Gospel story again. We’ll be thrilled by the pageantry of the Triumphal Entry, moved by the intimacy of the Last Supper, stunned by the injustice of the Crucifixion, and elated by the ultimate victory of the Resurrection.
We would love for you to join us, for families across our nation to open God’s Word together in observance of these precious and holy days leading to Easter. Let’s remember the purpose God had all along for our families: to pass along our faith to the next generation. You can find out more about single family worship guides or church wide licenses along with all of our great Easter worship resources. I know how we’re celebrating Easter this year, even in the midst of a pandemic. How about you?