Why My Family No Longer Attends an Easter Service

April 21, 2014

I'll be the first to admit I like tradition. I like etiquette and good behavior. I want my kids to respect their elders, be well mannered and understand societal norms. I tend to like the status quo; change is hard for me. My mother did a wonderful job of creating holiday traditions for my sisters and I
growing up, and I have sweet memories of those years.

Easter was one of my favorite traditions, mainly because I loved the pretty clothes my mother would buy us. Each year we'd get dressed up for church in our Sunday best and go to service. It was a wonderful day with close friends and family celebrating what Jesus had done for us. And this tradition continued into adulthood. Every year, I would get myself something new for Easter, and as I had children, I continued this tradition with them. New outfits, coloring eggs, Easter presents: as a mom, I loved to do it all. 

And then something changed. I began to read authors who challenged me to look beyond myself, my family, my own little world. I began to read about world hunger, human trafficking, the homeless, the abused. And something inside me broke. My eyes were opened to the countless times in scripture God asks his people to care for the poor, the orphaned, the widowed. I began to wonder how I missed it. How I could have grown up in church and missed something so integral to my desire to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.

Jasmine and Lizzie excited to show the Easter baskets they helped pack.
And I realized I had a choice. I could continue on in my own world, taking care of those closest to me with little discomfort to myself, or I could begin to reach out to those around me who may be very different from me.

Outside my circle.

And that's what I've decided to do. As an individual. As a family. And with others around us, as church community. We no longer have an Easter service, but we will be in service to the least of these. In honor and memory of what Jesus did for us. We celebrate his resurrection by being good news to those in our community who just might actually need some. In practical ways. By offering food, a listening ear, supplies and Easter treats to local shelters in our area.

Care bags for Place of Hope, a homeless shelter in St. Cloud
And as I would go around with my children, helping them pack bags for homeless adults and children in shelters, I would remind them why. This is how we remember Jesus. This is how we show others his love. This is how we are good news. We give without expecting return. It's the way of the kingdom. It's the way of Jesus. It's the way of Love.

And even though there's certainly nothing wrong with the traditions of my youth, our family  has adopted this new tradition that works for us. A new way to celebrate Jesus' death and resurrection.

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40

Are you looking for more resources for kindness and generosity? We've written several books!
We've written two kindness devotionals, The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional and 100 Days of Kindness. They tell the story of how our families embarked on a one-year journey of kindness, and include our successes, failures, and the encouragement you need as a family to incorporate kindness into your own life.

We've also written two books on friendship. The 100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls is written specifically for girls aged 8-12 as they navigate friendships in upper elementary and middle school. With a scripture, short story, reflection questions and 50 fun activities to do with you or friends, it's a wonderful way to encourage your daughter, niece, granddaughter, God daughter and her friends to build healthy friendships from an early age.

And our adult friendship devotional, The One Year Daily Acts of Friendship is a perfect compliment to our book for tweens.

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Kendra, Julie, and Kristin


  1. Wow! That is fantastic Kendra! Glad to know you and your family had a wonderful, meaningful Easter!

  2. I love to see the picture. On Easter we use to get kids saving their money for charity. We never ever bought them any clothes during easter. This year is quite special that kids attend the full holy week masses.

  3. Kendra,
    I am in love with this post. If I could hug it I would.

    1. Oh Amy! I laughed when I read this! Thanks for the comment, totally made my day :)