Hosted by the Faith To Go team in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, David Tremaine and Charlette Preslar, and joined the each week by a special guest, the Faith To Go Podcast highlights themes from the Sunday Gospel reading for you to take into your faith discussions and reflections throughout the week.
Breakfast Time: An Easter Sunrise Breakfast
Getting up before dawn to watch the sunrise is a special treasure that is not easily forgotten in life. This Easter morning tradition of a sunrise breakfast creates a sacred space in which memories are cultivated for life. Some families already have this tradition and gather together in community for a sunrise service. For those who don’t, however, why not do it at home?
Breakfast can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. The most important element is simply gathering together as a family and enjoying the time together.
How To Do It:
1. The night before, set the table. If possible, consider setting up outside on a balcony or deck, or near a window to see the sunrise. Also, prepare as much of breakfast ahead of time as possible. Breakfast can be as simple or elaborate as you like.
2. Plan to wake everyone in time to be ready at the table about 10-15 minutes before sunrise. Here’s a website to figure out what time that will be where you are.
3. Gather first at your home altar with all of the items now returned that you collected throughout the week and have been put away since Maundy Thursday. Light your Paschal Candle, and take time to go through the items on the altar and remember when and why we put them there. When you are done, make your way to the breakfast table, and bring your Paschal Candle with you to set in the center of your meal.
4. Serve breakfast and have everyone seated. Begin with a prayer of your own or use this one:
"Dear God, This week our family walked with Jesus all through Holy Week. We heard about his arriving on a donkey and people celebrating. We learned about the last meal he had with his disciples and how he prayed in the garden. We listened to the story of how he suffered and died for us on Good Friday and thought about how his friends laid him in the tomb. Thank you for giving us Jesus. We are so happy today that Jesus is risen! Help us to live the way Jesus taught us to all year long. Amen. "
5. Begin to eat breakfast together and have someone read the passage slowly and deliberately.
John 20:1-18 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
6. Read the first line again:
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark…” (20:1a, NRSV)
1) Is it still dark outside? This is the time of day when Mary went to the tomb.
2) How do you think Mary felt when she went to the tomb in the dark?
3) What is something that makes you really happy? How does your body feel when it is happy? 4) What is something you do when you are happy and want to celebrate?
5) What does it sounds like outside at this early hour? Is it quiet? Is it noisy?
7. Enjoy breakfast together and notice as it gets brighter and day breaks. Share any thoughts and experiences that come to mind. Ask questions that occur to you or use one (or more) of the following:
1) What part of the Gospel reading is most interesting to you or sticks out the most?
2) Does the light happen all at once, or does it seem to get light outside gradually? What does this tell us about the resurrection?
3) In the reading, Mary calls Jesus ‘teacher.’ What did Jesus teach Mary? How is Jesus a teacher to you?
4) How do you think people felt when they realized that Jesus was alive? Did different people feel differently?
5) ‘Resurrection’ means coming back to life. What are some things that remind you of resurrection in the world?
6) How can we celebrate that Jesus is risen?
8. Close your time together with a prayer of your own or use this one:
“Thank you, God, for this resurrection breakfast, a time to focus on you and the mystery of resurrection. Help us to celebrate Easter and to share its message of hope and promise. Amen.”
Notes And Variations:
The beauty of this tradition is that it starts Easter morning with a spiritual focus and centers the day in family and faith. This tradition is a great foundation on which to build other traditions as the years go by.
Option 1: Add your own special recipes and surprises at breakfast.
Option 2: Use different scriptures and prayers in different years.
Option 3: Add songs or other readings that are meaningful in your family.
Activity Time: Desert Box for Easter - Alleluia
Supplies: coffee filters, markers, clothes pins (This activity utilizes the desert box that we created in week one of Lent. If you did not have the opportunity to create the box, you can find the instructions for making it HERE)
Pull the desert box with the tomb to the middle of the table. Say, “Today is the Day! Jesus is Risen!” Have one family member read the Gospel. Then have each family member remove their rock from over the Jesus rock. Have one family member unwrap the rock, and another member smooth the sand in the box.
Place the Jesus rock back in the box, but with the beautiful colorful side up this time. Ask, “How does seeing this side of the rock make you feel? What is your favorite thing about the design?”
After every family member has had time to share, say, “During Lent we don’t say the word Alleluia because that is a word of celebration. Today is a day that we get to say it again. Let’s all say it nice and loud together…” Shout Alleluia as a family several times! Then say, “The colorfulness of this rock, and the sound of your joyful alleluias make me think of a way we could add more joy to our desert box. Let’s make Alleluia Butterflies.” Follow this link Alleluia Butterflies to create beautiful alleluia butterflies.
Use them to fill the box, decorate the house and yard, and fill the world with the joyful news that Jesus is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Story Time: Jesus Appears to Mary and the Disciples
Watch this video together and then use the discussion questions below to reflect as a family (watch from 11:09 to end).
1. I wonder how Mary felt when she saw Jesus? 2. I wonder how the disciples felt when they heard Jesus was alive? 3. I wonder what difference it makes to us that Jesus is alive?
4. Have you ever found something you thought was gone forever? How did it feel?
Bedtime: Reflections for Children at the End of the Day
During your bedtime routine, invite your children into a time of reflection about their day, maybe by saying, "Did you know that God really wants to know what happened in your day today, and that God is always listening whenever you need to tell God something?" Then continue with these questions:
1) What are some things that happened today that you want to tell God about?
2) What is one happy thing that happened today? What is one sad thing that happened today?
3) Did you see God or feel God with you when those things were happening? Where did you see or feel God when those things happened today?
4) Read to your children this week’s scripture selection, then ask the questions that follows.
Matthew 28:1-10 (God’s Word, My Voice)
As the sun was coming up on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and another Mary went to see Jesus’ grave. All of a sudden the earth shook. And an angel came down from heaven and rolled the stone away from the grave and sat on the stone. He looked like lightning and his clothes were white as snow. The guards who were at the grave were so scared, they passed out. But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid; I know that you’re looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here; for he has been brought back to life, just as he said. Come in here, I’ll show you the place where he was laid when he was dead. Then go tell his disciples right away, ‘He’s been raised from the dead, and he’s going to meet us in Galilee.’” So they left the tomb and ran to tell the disciples, both as scared and as happy as can be. Suddenly Jesus was right in front of them and said, “Hello!” They fell on their knees, grabbed his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; I’ll meet them there.”
Did the story remind you of anything that happened in your day today?
5) What are some things that you want to tell God that you are grateful for today?
Share some of your conversations in the comments below: