Preparing for Easter: Resources for Families

As we parade through Mardi Gras (a big deal down here in the southern US), the minds and hearts of Christians are turning towards Easter. Some traditions formally celebrate a forty-day period of Lent, but nearly all Christians observe Holy Week. No matter our preferred customs, Christians benefit from an extended period of meditation and prayer on the last days of our Lord Jesus, and what his cross, death, and resurrection mean for us. Preparing our families for Holy Week and Easter can take many forms, and we asked Rooted writers to share some of their favorites with you.

Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper

The title explains it well: fifty chapters exploring fifty “purposes” for Jesus’ death. An excellent resource for getting straight to the heart of Easter, explaining why Jesus had to die to save the sinners he loves. Short enough to read aloud and discuss.

Easter Matters: How the Resurrection of Jesus Changes You by Anna Nash and Katy Shelton

This useful volume provides excellent options for family devotions. Working through the Gospel of John, the writers alternate between a day of devotional reading followed by a day of process questions, prayers, and promises. Because Shelton and Nash are both mothers, they are skilled at distilling complex theology into manageable, biblically faithful meditations, and at asking really good questions to get the conversation going.

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter edited by Nancy Guthrie

Twenty-five chapters written by a variety of Christian writers across the centuries tell the story of Easter. This book would be ideal to read alongside an older teenager or mail to a college student for their daily devotion time.

Resurrection Letters Anthology album by Andrew Peterson

I have found that one of the most effective means of spurring on conversations about God with my young kids (ages 5 & 8) is through the music we choose to listen to as we get ready in the morning and as we are driving around town. As Easter approaches, a favorite album that will be in regular rotation is Andrew Peterson’s “Resurrection Letters Anthology.” Peterson’s lyrics follow the events of Easter and provide a soundtrack that helps subtly remind both my kids and me about the life-changing event we are preparing to celebrate. (recommended by Ben Beswick)

Lent for Everyone: Matthew, Year A: A Daily Devotional by NT Wright

NT Wright puts us firmly into the text of Matthew and helps it come alive to us. He invites us to slow down and meditate through the entire Gospel while giving key insights to dwell more deeply on the meaning of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. (recommended by Michael Goldstein)

How God Loves Us: 40 Days to Discovering His Character in the Fruit of the Spirit by Jessica Thompson

This is not specifically an Easter devotional, but if you are familiar with Jessica Thompson, you know you’ll find the gospel on every page. This 40-day devotional would be suitable for nearly anyone, teenagers included, and the entries are short enough for digestible dinnertable readings (see what I did there?). This would be an excellent choice for a family preparing for Easter.


If you’re inclined to give your kids an Easter basket, Rooted writer John Pond suggests you forget the Peeps and find meaningful gifts to place on that green plastic grass. Devotionals would be a great option: Rooted writer Hewes Hull suggests that perhaps the Easter season would be a good time to give your teen the original Mockingbird devotional, or To Live With Christ, a devotional by Bo Giertz.

Parents may also appreciate some of the suggestions we offer for youth ministers.

Advancing Grace-Driven Youth Ministry

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