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So Much Bigger Than The BunnyA 7-week Easter devotional for families
By Tasha J. Via
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Tasha J. Via
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWeek 1: Give It Up ~ a focus on Lent ~
Before You Get Started: When we first started the activity of giving something up for Lent with our kids, their ages were 5 and 3 (and 8 months). After explaining to them that Lent is about withholding something that we love for a specific amount of time, we let them choose what they wanted to give up for one week. The hope is that as our kids get older, they will be able to abstain from their activity for longer periods of time until finally they are able to "give it up" for the whole season of Lent.
"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:8 - NIV
History and Symbolism: Christ gave up His life for us! He came to earth as a man and willingly gave up heaven for a time to show His love, grace, and His redemptive power. Lent lasts for 40 days to signify Jesus' 40 days of temptation in the desert (Matt. 4). Lent is a season of sacrifice, prayer, and acts of kindness.
Activity: Pick an object or activity this week that you are willing to give up. When you start thinking about using/eating it throughout the day, pray instead. This will help us turn our focus on God instead of our desires.
Around The Table: Why are we giving up something?
What are some things that you are tempted by?
How can we overcome temptation? (read Mark 14:38)
Week 2: Talk To Me ~ learning purpose through prayer and confession ~
Before You Get Started: Prayer can be very intimidating when you don't know exactly what it is. Explain to your children that prayer is simply a conversation with God. He won't typically speak back audibly but, instead, He speaks through other people, through the Bible, and through corporate and personal time with Him. You can help them get started by letting them repeat sentences after you, and asking them what, or who, they would like to pray for.
"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9 - NIV
History and Symbolism: The Wednesday before Easter Sunday has traditionally become a day of cleaning in preparation for Holy week. It originated from the Jewish custom to clean before Passover. This day represents the preparation and anticipation for Christ's Resurrection. The cleaning represents our outward example of how we should have the desire to have clean hands and a pure heart before the Lord. This takes place as we confess that He is Lord and approach Him with a repentant heart.
Activity: Cleaning day — make it a family affair. Grab some spray bottles and washrags and clean the house together. Talk about the symbolism that this is cleaning and purifying the outside, while only God can clean and purify the inside.
Around the table:
Can you think of 3 things you'd like to pray for?
What does it mean to confess?
Why does God want to talk to us?
Week 3: Dying With Purpose ~ visualizing the death, burial and resurrection ~
Before You Get Started: Get as creative as you want with this activity!
"I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scripture said." I Corinthians 15:3 - NLT
History Through Symbols: Eggs used to be a common symbol of new life and immortality. Eggs later came to represent the Lord's resurrection out of the tomb just like the chick breaks out of its shell when the moment arrives for the new life to come forth.
Activity: Make Easter Baskets For Your Neighbors
What you will need: hard boiled eggs and an egg-dying kit (you should be able to find these for fairly cheap just about anywhere that sells Easter decorations), candy (optional), a little basket for each neighbor (can be found at Target's $1 spot or at the Dollar Store), paper, scissors, church information.
1- Dye your eggs, explain the symbolism of the eggs going into the water (Christ being buried) and then coming out (Christ rising from the dead).
2- Let the eggs dry overnight (or during nap time).
3- Decorate together.
4- Fill your baskets — get creative! Our baskets included 1 egg, a personal note from our family, one of our CD's, and a church invite with Easter service times on it.
5- Get out there and meet your neighbors! Encourage your kids to be the ones to hand the neighbors their baskets. You'll be surprised how friendly people can be when the gospel message is handed to them by a child!
Around the table:
Why did Jesus have to die?
What are sins?
Why do we celebrate Jesus dying on the cross?
Week 4: The Spirit Tree ~ acts of kindness through the fruit of the Spirit ~
Before You Get Started: It may be a good idea to talk about the difference between good works and the natural characteristics of a believer. The fruit of the Spirit is the natural outpouring of a life that is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Anyone can do good works, but a Christian's life is characterized by these things, the most important being love.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 - NIV
History Through Symbols: Another part of the season of Lent is almsgiving, or more generally, acts of kindness. It is a way of living out our faith. Kindness is just one of the fruit of the Spirit.
Excerpted from So Much Bigger Than The Bunny by Tasha J. Via Copyright © 2011 by Tasha J. Via. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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