Making Easter Good in the Neighborhood
H olidays can be a wonderful way to establish traditions with those we care about. During a year where home remains the most popular place to be, many of us realize the value in the relationships in our closest proximity – not just our families, but those that share the homes alongside of our own. Even if you don’t yet have those kind of relationships within your own community, it’s never too late to seek it. After all, Easter changes everything.
Here are simple ways to share the joy of Easter in your own neighborhood this year.
Plan a Neighborhood Sunrise Service
Choose a pretty spot in the neighborhood – a local park or a particularly scenic backyard – and invite your neighbors to BYOB (bring your own blanket) and join for a sunrise Easter service. Sing along with worship music played on your phone or a Bluetooth speaker, take turns reading aloud from the Easter gospels, or simply lead a prayer giving thanks to God for the death and resurrection of Christ. Simplicity is key to this gathering, as its focus should be on fostering relationships which can be life changing to neighbors who don’t attend church, yet might be open hearing the good news of Jesus or providing a common spiritual experience that changes the neighborhood status quo.
Host a Driveway Communion
If your home happens to be on the path of major foot traffic in the neighborhood, and particularly if Easter or the days leading up to it offer mild spring temperatures, set out single serve communion elements and a prayer card in your driveway (bonus points for also having dog treats on hand!)
This can be a great way to meet new members of the community or share a new tradition with those you already know.
Sawdust (Chalk) the Neighborhood Sidewalks
In Guatemala, Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a celebration of processions, food, drink and music. Before Good Friday, locals use stencils to create large pictures of birds, flowers, or religious symbols, making an alfombras de acerrin, or ‘sawdust carpet’ in the street. Mirror this tradition using sidewalk chalk on your neighborhood sidewalks. Use sidewalk blocks to sketch the events in the story of Easter or even to share encouraging scripture that spreads the news of Christ. Share your efforts by organizing a neighborhood Good Friday walk to enjoy the art.
Alfombras is ephemeral art, meant to be enjoyed in the moment. Don’t be sad if the rain washes away your hard work in the following days – Jesus did the same for our sins.
Play Easter Baseball – Three Strikes, Sin is Out
Organize a neighborhood baseball game with an Easter twist. Before the game, share Psalm 103:6-12 and discuss the message in these versus that God takes our sin far away. Explain how when we ask forgiveness, that our sin is gone. As each player takes a turn at bat, invite batters to ask for forgiveness as they take their turn hitting the ball (their sin) far away.
We’re excited to see what changes this Easter has in store for you and your community.
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