The downside of having a late Easter this year is that we only have one full session after returning from Easter break and before our May Crowning closes the year. This means that I have to condense my Easter Season lessons from two or three to one. Here’s my basic plan.
I’ll start by playing a recording of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” While this song is more often played during Christmastime, the celebratory “Hallelujahs” make it an appropriate anthem to set up an Easter session. And since we started our Lenten sessions with moments of silence, the vibrant change of pace should be an attention-grabber.
Then we’ll explore a variety of post-Resurrection appearances, up to and including the Ascension. Normally I reserve the Ascension for another session, but this year we’ll have to do a quicker tour of the times Christ appeared to the disciples after the Resurrection. One story we’ll pause to explore in more detail is the Emmaus story. Using two special features, we’ll look at an art print from Finding God, Grade 7, Session 21, which features Dinah Roe Kendall’s Road to Emmaus, and we’ll listen to a recorded Scripture story of Luke 24:13–35.
My hope for this session is that the young people understand that the story continues after the Resurrection of Christ. Perhaps this condensed Easter lesson may be a blessing in disguise. I will take my students on a fast-paced tour of stories normally covered in several textbook chapters, and the effect hopefully will be to convey that the Apostles were still busy learning from Jesus in the time he spent with them between the Resurrection and the Ascension. They were busy getting ready to receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and through their work as the early Church—work which continues today through all of us—the story continues.
During the final meeting of the year, I expect to cover the Pentecost story as a sending forth for the young people. For now, I’ll leave them staring up at the sky after the Ascension, wondering with the Apostles, “What’s next?”
How do you teach the wonder of Easter to your class? Which post-Resurrection accounts do your students most like learning about?