Easter tends to be a collective celebration.
We do it at church, at cantatas, at plays, at performances, at services. We do it around candles, and hams, and Bibles. We do it with church members and family. And this is all well and good. Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection ought to be celebrated collectively: it is something that our whole joyous body of brothers and sisters, regardless of denominational differences, have in common.
(In fact, Easter can be a fun time to go visit another church you’ve never been to before, just because.)
But we can celebrate Easter on our own, too. Individually and by ourselves. In fact, we should. Because there’s something wonderful and reflective in sitting down and recognizing, in some way, not just what God has done for the world but for us. Here are some suggestions about how to greet this most holy season on your own, in addition to whatever else you might be planning:
- Plan to spend some extra time with God. Maybe this comes in the theme of a special Easter-centered study, a praise-filled prayer time, or a worship session. But mark the holiday with God, just the two of you, in a meaningful way. Don’t let your individual time with God get drowned out in a slew of events.
- Get outside. It’s spring! Here, the wildlife is out in force and everything is blooming. Take a walk or a special hike and praise God the whole way that through His son everything is, indeed, made new. Use the quiet and relaxation as a time to connect spiritually with the Lord.
- Check in with others who might not be able to celebrate the way they’d like. Think of people in particular who might be excluded from celebrating “typical” Easter services: elderly people in assisted living communities, the homebound, those away from home, people who have to work on Easter Sunday. Reach out to them however feels appropriate and do something to give them a smile over the weekend.
- Do an act of service for someone. Tip extravagantly, if you go to dinner. Mow someone else’s grass. Help your neighbor carry mulch. Whatever you can spare – time, money, or items – use as a gift for someone else.
- Make a new commitment. The post-Easter letdown is real. Make a spiritual commitment that will keep you going after the holiday is over. Start a new individual Bible study, or a new prayer time. Engage in a new spiritual discipline or practice. Start a small ministry or some acts of continuing service. Doing this will give you something forward to once the clamor of the holiday is over and, better, it will help you channel your Easter spiritual high into something that will last through the rest of the year.
Enjoy your Holy Week – with others, yes, but also when it’s just you and God.