So you booked your travel for Spring Break, a rare time for your household to get away just the three/four/five of you for a few days of family time. Such time is truly sacred, and in our high-paced world, rare.
But then you looked at your calendar more closely, realized that Easter falls during your Spring Break travel plans, and out from your mouth blurted a less-than-holy expletive. “Oh shoot (or close approximation thereof). We’re traveling on Easter Sunday.” Now your typical plans for a morning at church with sisters and brothers in Christ, family Easter egg hunt at the house, and dinner with extended family are all gone, as you’ll be in an airport, or already at your get-away destination.
Assuming that it is too difficult to change your travel plans, throw some plastic Easter eggs in your suitcase, and make plans for a dinner out at your destination. But what about church? Here are a few ideas for how you can worship this Easter even if you’re on the road.
Go to Church Wherever You Are
Whether you’re in the Caribbean or New York City, the Smokey Mountains or in Terre Haute, there’s likely to be a church nearby. Though all congregations are different, a Lutheran church would likely feel most familiar. Other close denominational siblings are Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist or United Church in Christ. Roman Catholic Mass is pretty similar to our Lutheran worship service, though non-Catholics do not typically receive communion at a Catholic Mass. If you’re open to something different, find a Baptist Church or a local non-denominational congregation. Over winter break my family worshiped in an African American Baptist Church and was truly blessed by the cross-cultural nature and different worship style of this congregation.
Traveling within the US or Caribbean? Find a Lutheran church here: http://www.elca.org/tools/FindACongregation
Attend an Easter Vigil
Flying out on Easter Sunday? Can’t get to worship at New Joy? Some congregations have a service called an Easter Vigil – essentially this is an Easter Eve service on Holy Saturday. You are most likely to find these services at some Lutheran, Episcopalian, and Roman Catholic Churches. This service features Scripture passages outlining the history of God’s work of salvation, starting in Genesis and culminating with the resurrection of Jesus. In many congregations the Easter Vigil is also the primary service of the year for baptisms. Before you leave town, check websites of local congregations to see if one is hosting an Easter Vigil.
Do a Family Devotion
If you can’t get to church at all on Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday, then your next best bet is to carve out time for a family devotion. We’ll have some prayers and Scripture for you to access on the New Joy mobile app and to download from our website. Read Scripture, sing a verse of a hymn, and announce to each other that Christ is Risen!
Easter is a Season, Not Just a Day
Ultimately, remember that Easter is a season, not a single day. Easter runs for seven weeks, and on each week in the Easter season we’ll be announcing “Christ is Risen! Alleluia! | He is risen indeed. Alleluia!” If you miss worship on Easter Sunday, join with sisters and brothers in Christ on the following Sundays to continue the celebration of our Lord’s victory over death and the grave.