I’m not a stranger to being away from my family. Last spring, I graduated from a university in another state than my family. During my four years of study, I celebrated many holidays and birthdays with my friends only. However, the difference this year is that I will be alone for Easter. My mother is in Michigan, my father is in Indiana, and I am in St. Louis. We are all in different states for work, unable to get back to one another for Easter celebrations.
With the current pandemic, this scenario is a new and stark reality for many people. I want to be angry about having to celebrate Easter alone. But in all of this, I have co-workers who remind me that even if it seems bleak, God has a plan. And He has given us amazing and beautiful tools to connect as a family and rejoice together. Read below to find ways to stay connected with family, friends, and the Church, even when isolated from them.
Reach Out to Friends
In your friend group, you are not the only one alone or without your family this Easter. Reach out to your friends and invite them to livestream your church’s Easter service together. If your friends are not comfortable livestreaming a church service on their own, ask if they would be willing to do a small Bible study with you, or participate in a devotional activity or guided discussion.
Be sure to invite friends who might not be Christian, as they could surely use the comforting Gospel during these times. Invite them into Christ’s family for one day so that they, too, can know what it's like to have a loving Father who watches over them always.
Continue Family Traditions
In an age of technology, we thankfully have the privilege to virtually see our families. If your family has any Easter traditions, such as opening a few gifts, reading the Easter story, or eating brunch together after worship, consider doing a video call with them on Easter day to continue those traditions. Prepare everything by yourself and then get together as if you were all home.
If you’re like me, getting to visit my home church is always the best part of Easter. Reach out to the church secretary and ask for the link to their livestream so that you can be part of the same service as your family. Also ask if there are any digital resources available, such as a bulletin, to follow along with during the livestream.
Send Easter Joy in the Mail
A simple card to those who are away from family, reminding them that they are not forgotten, can mean everything. You can download coloring pages or encouragement cards to color and send to parents, grandparents, or siblings in the mail. If available, join together in a video call where you color the pages and spend a moment of devotional time together.
Without an outgoing mailbox though, mailing things can be difficult. Consider sending digital cards via email, or simply give your loved ones a call on Easter morning to celebrate.
If your family likes to give small gifts during Easter, consider ordering something they would like online and have it shipped to their house, marking it as a gift. It's an easy way to send presents to remind others that they are loved. In many instances, you can put multiple items in one shipment so it comes to them like a small care package from you.
Reach Out to Your Pastor
Now more than ever, reach out to your pastor. He understands that the Church and individuals are under a high amount of stress. This Holy Week is one that none of us have ever gone through: in quarantine, possibly alone or away from family and friends. Your pastor will have resources, and perhaps even people, that can help you feel more connected to your fellow congregants. He might direct you to a group of others you can connect with to ensure that you’re not alone for Easter. Your pastor is there to help you in your walk with Christ, even during these difficult and unprecedented times.
Christ Is with You
Although Satan may keep you from family, and while Easter celebrations look different this year, Christ has promised to be with you. Always. He is your Good Shepherd. He promises to give you eternal life, and He reminds you that no one can snatch you from His hand (John 10:28). Hold tight to Him and trust that He will guide His sheep through these difficult times and forward to a beautiful and glorious reunion in heaven one day.
Times may be difficult, but Christ has already won every battle through His resurrection. He has defeated sin, death, and the devil. For you. As His baptized child, remember that nothing else in all of creation will be able to separate you from His love.
Though you may not be able to be with anybody in your family for Easter, your brothers and sisters in the faith are rejoicing with you this holy day. Together with them, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, sing the praises of the Lamb in His kingdom that has no end.
For coloring pages and other downloadable material to send to family members, click the button below.