Passion Week: Good Friday

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”  Hebrews 7:25

I love how John Piper says, “Drawing near is not moving from one place to another.  It is a directing of the heart into the presence of God who is as distant as the holy of holies in Heaven, and yet as near as the door of faith.  He is commanding us to come, to approach Him, to draw near to Him.” 

My son is very inquisitive and just the other night he was looking at a picture Bible and asking me about every story on every page (another reason parents need to read their Bibles) and when we got to Jesus on the cross the picture showed blood on His clothes while He was carrying a cross.  Eli asked, “Why is there blood on His shirt?”  I said, “Because the men beat Him up so bad He was bleeding.”  I was watching Eli’s face to see how far I should go with this and he said, “That is not nice.  Why did they do that?”  Not shying away from his question I simply said, “Jesus wants us to be with Him all the time.  In order for that to happen He had to get beat up and die on the cross.”  Then Eli turned the page and moved on to the next story.  My son is four years old and asking these questions.  Clearly there is no stirring in his heart yet.  But kids need to know the truth.

Table Talk

This Table Talk can be easy in that telling this part of Jesus’ story might naturally bring up questions with your kids.  Now, the above situation wasn’t a planned Bible story time.  It was a time when Chris was gone and Eli wanted to stay up late and he knows if he asks for a story to be read I will, more than likely, say yes.  Simply being aware and ready when your child has questions is the best table talk of all.

Good Friday Activities

I love the idea of DIY empty tombs.  I have a couple of versions on my Easter Pinterest board.  This is so inexpensive and easy for kids.  Since this is a Good Friday activity I would suggest closing the tomb on your craft and moving it before the kids wake up on Easter Sunday to bring home the point that the tomb was empty!

I have enjoyed sharing these ideas with you all this week.  Let me know if you have tried any of them and how they went.

Passion Week: Thursday

“I new commandment I give to you, that you love one another:  just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”  John 13:34

Table Talk

I hope you were able to look up the scriptures in yesterday’s post with your children.  Here is another post with some scripture reference so have your Bible ready to read these verses to your kids.

John 13:34

1 John 3:16

Hebrews 12:2

John 13:1

How can you show love for others?

How can you show love to your brother(s) or sister(s)?  This is always a hot topic at our house!

Possible Activities

This day is your choice.  There are so many service opportunities you can do as a family…yes, even with preschoolers.  Even if your children can’t actually participate in something they can observe their parents joyfully serving another family or person.

Passion Week: Wednesday

“I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am He.”  John 13:19

There are prediphoto1 (2)ctions in the Old Testament that are starting to come true in Jesus’ life.  Listed below are some of the predictions.  I would challenge you to find the objects in brackets and use them as a visual aids when talking about this day with your children.  If you own a set of Resurrection Eggs most of the items will be in those eggs.  Otherwise, keep it fresh with real size items around your house.

Table Talk & Possible Activities

*  He knew His death would be by crucifixion (John 3:14, 12:32,33).
[cross and/or nails]

*  He knew the disciples would meet a man with a water pitcher (Luke 22:10).
[water pitcher]

*  He knew that He would be betrayed by Judas for money (John 6:64, 13:1, and Matthew 26:2, 21).
[coins]

*  He knew Peter would deny Him three times (Matthew 26:34).
[rooster]

*  He knew the disciples would be scattered (Matthew 26:31, John 16:32).  It would also be a good idea to refresh your children’s memory on who Jesus flock is (refer to the Palm Sunday post).
[seeds to scatter]

*  He knew He would be crucified not stoned (John 12:32).
[whip, nails, cross]

If you do not have the official Resurrection Eggs you can make your own set by going to my Easter board on Pinterest, there are so many different versions you can do yourself.

 

Passion Week: Tuesday

photo1 (1)“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

This is a great day to talk about just how much God loves you and your children.  God rejoiced to do this redeeming work.  He really, really wanted to save His people.

Table Talk & Possible Activities

 The best illustration for this is the ocean.  Look online for pictures of underwater ocean scenes or an ocean view that shows how big and ongoing the ocean is.

I have posted some good pictures on my Easter board on Pinterest.

Let me know how it’s going.

Passion Week: Monday

photo“As the time approached for Him to be taken up to Heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”  Luke 9:51

Jesus knew His time on Earth was coming to an end.  He knew Jerusalem ultimately meant death for Him.  Death is a tricky topic for kids especially when the death was as graphic as Jesus’.  You, as the parent, need to be the one to explain it to your children in a way that is easy for them to understand and not be scared.  They need to understand Jesus knew what was going to happen and He did it because He loves us.

Table Talk:

Discuss with your children something they don’t like to do but know they should do it out of obedience.  Explain in your own words what would happen when Jesus went to Jerusalem.

Read John 15:13 from your Bible.  Discuss with your children that Jesus loved them so much He gave His own life for them.  This concept is hard for most kids to understand but the key is for them to know Jesus went to Jerusalem even though He knew people would be very mean to Him and hurt Him.  He did it because He loves us.  I know I keep repeating that idea but it is true and hard for kids (and adults).

Possible Activities:

Coloring sheet that can be personalized with your child’s name.  Last year I had my kids color this sheet and I cut the cross out and laminated it for them.  Eli still has his in his closet.

This egg hunt from imom is pretty cool.  If your kids like puzzles and finding eggs this would be great for indoors or outside.

Let me know if you tried any of this!  Have a great Monday!

 

Passion Week: Palm Sunday

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32

photo1In his book, “Love to the Uttermost,” John Piper says, “Today is Palm Sunday.  We picture ourselves welcoming the King into our city and into our hearts.  He tries to make His intentions known by coming, not on a great stallion, but on a lowly donkey, meek and humble.”  If your child attends a Sunday school class they probably cut out palm leaves today and talked about how Jesus rode into town on a donkey with people waving palm leaves.  If they didn’t talk about palm leaves you can find a pattern here to cut some out and wave them around.  If you want to read this story in your Bible you can go to Matthew 21:1-11.

Table Talk

Read Luke 12:32 from your Bible.  This is a verse about the nature of God.  It shows us what kind of heart God has.  It’s a verse about what makes God happy.  Use that verse as a launchpad to talk about what makes your children happy.  Discuss with them what things make God happy.

God’s deepest joy and desire is to give the kingdom to His flock.  Discuss who God’s flock is.  What does “flock” mean?  Talk about how sheep travel in flocks and when we have accepted Christ into our heart we are in His flock.

Activities (all pinned on Easter board on Pinterest):

Hand print sheep using cotton balls and black (washable) paint

Simple coloring sheets showing Palm Sunday celebrations

Footprint donkey and hand print palm leaves

Let me know how it went today…what worked, what didn’t work.

Happy Palm Sunday!

 

Passion Week: Preschool Style

10257963_836794843003793_2234615670978976453_nDuring Christmas and Easter life in a minister’s home gets a little crazy.  Those are essentially the two biggest holidays on the Christian calendar meaning they are the two of the biggest events on the church calendar.  In our home we must take, sometimes, extreme measures to make sure we are not totally wiped out when it comes to celebrating these holidays with our kids.  This year I am tailor making our Passion Week festivities to fit our children (4 and 2 1/2 years old).

I am creating this material based on a couple of things:

1.  My friend Kim’s Easter activities.  Kim is especially gifted at bringing these two holidays to life at her house.  If Kim lived closer I would make her do them at my house but alas, she lives ten hours away so that is not an option.  She has a LEGIT list of activities, crafts, etc leading up to Easter.

2.  John Piper’s Holy Week devotional, “Love to the Uttermost.”  This is a free download on the Desiring God website.  I downloaded it last year and loved it so I’m doing it again this year.

3.  The Fire Bible.  My parents bought our children this Bible earlier in the year and it has excellent pictures and little pockets of information that my kids think are interesting.

4.  Pinterest.  Did you really think Pinterest wouldn’t be included.  Besides Kim’s list of downloadable coloring sheets I also found a couple on Pinterest to fit the days during Passion Week.

Our Passion Week will start this Sunday with Palm Sunday and conclude Easter Sunday.  I believe most parents want to teach their kids about Easter but it’s hard because the days leading up to Easter are pretty graphic for kids so it must be approached differently with each family as they see fit for their kids and their ages.  The plan I’m presenting through this series is VERY simple.  It it meant to expound where necessary and where you see fit.  You are the parent, God has placed your children in your care.  Use your time with them wisely.

I hope you enjoy this series.  I have the Palm Sunday post scheduled to post at 1:00 AM on Sunday morning.

Enjoy!