Read the online article The presence of God and answer the following questions. Share your answers in pairs, small groups or in a classroom discussion.
1. Fr Hamilton talks about some of the similarities between the stories of Jesus’ birth and Easter. Can you think of others?
2. Are there examples in your life where people may be physically absent, but they are still present to you?
3. Put yourself in the disciples’ place as they come to the empty tomb. Would you see the emptiness as a sign of God’s presence or his absence? Why?
4. Crucifixion was a miserable death, so how did it become a powerful Easter symbol of hope?
What are the symbols you associate with Easter? Why those particular symbols? What are their origins – are they biblical or are they to do with spring or renewal? Research your answers.
Draw or design a poster that uses some of these symbols to convey the meaning of Easter.
Easter bonnets tend to be a northern hemisphere tradition with their association with spring, but there’s no reason why you can’t have your own Easter bonnet parade.
For younger students
Teachers read or summarise the article, ‘The presence of God’. Talk with your students about recognising that though the risen Christ always walks alongside us, sometimes we are not able to see him clearly. To demonstrate the idea that Christ is with us always, even though he may appear absent, place playing cards face down over a large picture (make sure the cards are mixed up). Ask students to flip over two cards and once there is a match, remove those cards. Keep doing that until the picture is revealed.
Image: Easter Bonnet Parade, New York City – flickr.com