For a lot of people, Easter can be all about family. Maybe it’s about going to church with Grandma and taking group photos on the lawn or gathering the little ones of the family to help them paint Easter eggs. But if you’re emotionally or physically distant from your family, you might wonder what the point of celebrating Easter is. Why go to church just to hear the “same thing” you did last year? Or maybe you aren’t familiar with church, and the last thing you want to do is go alone. You don’t have to have a “picture perfect” Easter to celebrate what Jesus has done for our daily and eternal lives.If Easter gives you mixed feelings because your family isn’t around, it’s okay to experience that grief. God offers us forgiveness so we can be with Him, which means He wants to hear from us - He wants to listen to the good and bad. Your feelings matter to God, and He wants your genuine praise, not an obligatory ritual. Whether you’re alone on Easter or with all your loved ones, renewal is what it’s all about. You can let go of shame and embrace God’s gift amidst whatever you’re going through. It's not about what you need to do to work your way to God; it's about what God has done to work His way to you. Jesus loves you so much that He came to Earth to experience our struggles and die. Then He rose to bring hope to the world. That is a reason to rejoice, no matter where we are in life. So the most valuable part of Easter is the time you spend with God. That can happen anywhere at any time.God is enough to give us joy and meaning, but fellowship is also a vital part of His design. God created us to share His love with others, and connection helps us grow, even when we’re scared. Here are some ways you can celebrate Easter if you don’t have loved ones nearby:Hold an Easter potluck.No one wants to turn down free food, and the best part is you don’t have to provide it all if everyone chips in. Invite friends or bring up the idea to a leader at your local church if you’re new to the area. Eating together is a great way to relax and set the mood for conversation. Even Jesus knew it! Along with the ham, potatoes, and desserts, you can also have an egg decorating contest - because improvisational art is the fastest track to bond through laughter.Easter study + trivia.Check out your local church and see if they are planning any Easter Bible studies or small groups. If not, you can try organizing one yourself. Get some people together and explore what the Bible says about the resurrection and discuss where Easter comes from. You can read the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John or use a Bible study guide. At the end of the study, you can have fun with some trivia about what you’ve learned.Go to a sunrise service.Why would you want to wake up at the crack of dawn and stand in the cold in the morning when you could hear the same thing at the 9 a.m. church service? That’s a reasonable question that has kept me from ever attending a sunrise service. However, I’ve decided that I’m going to try it this year. My reason? I have nothing to lose except a few hours of sleep. Those hours may feel like they’re worth more than diamonds, but experiences can give us the spiritual and emotional refreshment that we often don’t realize we need. When the sun was rising was when the first believers went to Jesus' tomb, only to find the stone rolled away and His body gone. Isn’t that a great way to coincide your Easter morning with what they encountered 2,000 or so years ago?Watch a virtual service with family.If you’re missing your family on Easter (or during any other holiday time), you can still share experiences with them thanks to the marvels of the internet. Besides hanging out on Zoom, you can watch an online Easter service together and maybe play a Bible game.No matter who you have in your life or what you do, you are never alone. You might think, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah…I’ve heard that line before.” But it is true, and that’s what Easter really means! Think about the amount of love it takes to do what Jesus did. Does that sound like the kind of love that would ever abandon us? Once you take His invitation, you are part of God’s family, and your relationship with Him can bring you peace in your current and future relationships with others.
Written Content Coordinator at Sun Valley Community Church. An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.