Passover and Easter: great times for family story telling

This last Sunday was Palm Sunday in the Christian tradition and all over the world some Christians lit candles and attended special worship services associated with Easter’s Holy Week, while Jews began their physical and spiritual preparations for Passover — making the matzah (flat, unleavened bread), shopping for bitter herbs and celebratory wine.


Like Jews in the celebration of Passover, Christians vary in their observance of various Easter-related customs. While most Christian denominations celebrate Easter Sunday as a way of honoring Jesus’ victory over death and sin, they don’t all celebrate the other elements of Holy Week.


In some Christian churches, for example, Palm Sunday services acknowledge Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem by carrying large palm branches in processions.  Others may not mention the triumphal entry at all.


Passover and Easter are the only Jewish and Christian holidays that move in sync. neither has anything to do with a rabbit that lays multi-colored eggs but both are opportunities for cultural and family storytelling.


Easter is a time to remember the freedom from bondage.  This is when Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and contempt their own resurrection at life’s end.


The storytelling opportunity here is for an age-appropriate conversation with the kids and young adults in the family about your own rebirth.  Adolescents and children who know the ups and downs their parents’ lives benefit from that knowledge.


Grit and higher self-esteem are the results of kids knowing that their ancestors, experienced times of hurt, confusion, and the like, but had a conversion experience that turned their life around.  Knowing that you once struggled with the same kinds of temptations and peer pressure from school, work, and even family that they may be struggling with now – makes you a bit more relate-able.  They can benefit and be inspired to know of your fight and victory.


The Jewish tradition of Passover and the Seder meal celebration reminds Jewish youth of the bondage the Jewish people suffered and of the freedom granted when the angel of death passed over their households and Moses lead the people out of Egyptian bondage.


This tradition of retelling the story during the Seder meal provides the same inspiration and fortitude as the kids internalize the lesson that “if they could overcome those obstacles, then I can overcome mine.” For both of these major religious holidays, the story for kids is the same.  See how your forefathers overcame -You can overcome too.


Easter and Passover celebrates the same basic message of freedom from bondage


This holiday tell your kids your story of overcoming! The Passover and Easter message is that no matter what the world does to us or tells us, we are free to make a difference and that eventually, that difference will transform the world.


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