A Good Friday for Kids

 

AshWednesdayCrossGood Friday always makes me feel a little sick to my stomach.

Growing up, I wasn’t even aware that it was a thing. We didn’t get the day off school. All I knew about it was:

Two days before Easter which meant two days until candy!

It wasn’t until I was an adult, working at a Christian ministry, that I even realized there was something special about the day. When they told me I didn’t have to come to work and they’d pay me anyway, I knew the day was unique.

So now that I’ve realized the significance of today – what we’re actually remembering on Good Friday – I always feel sad on this day. It’s weird to have a holiday where you feel sad. A day of remembering. Maybe like Memorial Day for some people.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make this day meaningful for my kids. How do I help a two and three year old understand what today means? The world’s certainly not helping. I walked through the Easter aisle at the grocery store the other day and was surrounded by pastel bunnies and shelves and shelves of candy. And not one single cross or reference to Christ.

I get that they’re little and expecting that they can understand things like crucifixion and atonement is ridiculous. But I do want them to understand that today is special. That without Good Friday, Easter means nothing. All the meaning of Easter is found in Good Friday. So I want to teach them the significance of today.

And even though it really has little to do with the life-changing events a couple thousand years ago, of course on Sunday we’re doing Easter baskets for them. And while as a general rule we try to avoid sugar, we’re even doing candy.

I want them to understand that Easter is a party. A day to celebrate! And we only celebrate because today happened.

But they’re two and three. So even though I’m feeling a little bit nauseous today, thinking about all that happened not that long ago, I know my kids will get the gravity of today soon enough. Today I’m going to let them be kids.

We’re going to the zoo.

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