We are eagerly waiting for Easter and observing Lent at our home this year. Not in a traditional way I guess (because I have no idea what the "traditional ways" even are except something about giving up certain foods) but we are anticipating all that Easter represents for us. We are selecting one family activity per day in leading up to Easter and preparing our hearts for the day He conquered death! We never want to rely on doctrine, tradition, or "religion" because Jesus often was harshest on those who were strict rule followers, those who thought they had it "figured out" or could earn righteousness, and had little need for a Savior. But we do want our children to understand the rich history of scripture and the meaning and importance of observing and remembering all He has done. We need Jesus; everyday in everything and we want to prepare our hearts for celebrating victory in Him over even death. Anticipating what is to come and celebrating Jesus's way of the cross for all mankind.
I got some ideas on line and from a few books and tweaked them to fit us. The girls helped me write numbers 1-40 on small pieces of paper we put in a basket and then take turns selecting one per day (errr.....or if we forget a day 2 the next day).
Then we read and do the activity that corresponds with the number...... some examples so far......
1. sacrifice something nice for someone else
2. get some ashes (not hard when everyone here cooks with coal:) and explain that ashes are a symbol of lent. In scripture ashes are often used to symbolize repentance, sorrow, humility, and purification.
Evy enjoyed the first day's Ash Wednesday activity so much she took the bowl of ashes and smeared them all over her face. She missed the point a bit but she had fun.
3. Learn to spell resurrection. What is the meaning and significance? Draw a picture to remind us what it means
they love anything craft!
5. We have "new life" in Jesus! Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. Make a tissue paper butterfly to remind us of our transformation when we follow Jesus.
a bit of the glue always goes MIA with Evy around
6. Do something that is hard but you think God wants you to do! Share with us.
7. Everyone go on a "hunt" for purple things. Then look at your pile of purple stuff! Purple is a symbolic color of Lent because it symbolizes pain and suffering. It is also the color of royalty- how does this all fit Jesus? Then the girls picked out something purple to wear for the entire day!
8. Explain the word "hallelujah" which comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew phrase meaning "Praise the Lord." It can be used as a call to worship God or thank Him. We also discussed how this was similar to what our friends say in Arabic here "Alhamdulilah" Annikah loved this because she has learned that after she burps she needs to say "Alhamdulilah" because her friends at school do this (friends have explained it to me as thanking God you have enough food to be full and thus need to burp). So Praise God and thank Him in whatever language!!!
I am not that great at creative family stuff but this time we get to spend together everyday is so worth the small effort I put in to prepare. More Lent festivities to come.....what are you doing to prepare?