In my opinion, Easter is more important than Christmas. If you think about it, Christmas would mean nothing without Easter. Yet we spend at least one month celebrating the message of Christmas, while Easter is normally narrowed down to one Holy Week. I have been trying to change this in my own family and I want to tell you about a few books that help.
I received the Why Easter? ($13.46) book to review and it has been a fantastic addition to our family devotions in the evenings these weeks leading to Easter. I also received Why Christmas? ($13.46) Both books are written by Barbara Reaoch who is Bible Study Fellowship International’s Director of children’s programs.
These books are devotionals that parents can use during the few weeks prior to the Easter and Christmas holidays. I love how these books are set up. Let me show you:
It took us 15-20 minutes to complete one lesson. My husband did the reading from the Bible and I read the devotional and led the discussion. Then we all gathered together to sing the hymns. We sound really good!
I like the fact that these books include different scriptures that tell the stories of Easter and Christmas. For example, Why Christmas? includes “normal” Christmas story scripture such as Luke 2:8-16, but it also includes: John 1:1-5, Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2, and John 3:16. The Why Easter? version focuses on scriptures from all four gospels and covers all events the week before Jesus died on the cross through his resurrection, appearances, and ascension.
These books take parents and children on a journey which explains the “why” of Jesus’ birth and why He had to die. Knowledge of both of these topics is critical for Christians to understand their faith.
One thing I did not like about the books was that each day counted “up” to the holiday, instead of the book counting “down” to the event. If we missed a day of reading (which happens in life), I had a hard time recounting to find where we needed to be. Maybe that’s just how my brain is wired and other parents wouldn’t get confused. But counting backwards isn’t too difficult. We figured it out.
One thing I would recommend, especially if you have singers in your family, is to find the hymns in a hymnal, or online, so you can sing the parts as a family. The words are printed in the devotional books, but not the music. I think the hymns made the devotional times much more worshipful than our normal ones.
My children span the ages from 3 to 7 years old and they did great during our devotional times with these books. In fact, I think older children would be able to take the discussion questions deeper than my little ones could.
Overall, I think the books Why Christmas? and Why Easter? would be good investments for Christian parents. These can be used yearly and the discussions will change in depth as your children grow in their knowledge of Jesus.
Future.Flying.Saucers gives the books Why Christmas? and Why Easter? by Barbara Reaoch 5 out of 5 flying saucers for Christian Family Friendliness!