The older I get the more I love the liturgy of the Christian calendar.
A few years ago I began exploring ways to add significance to Lent for my small children, but I wasn’t sure I really understood it myself, and then we moved, blah blah blah.
Since then I’ve been circling this idea of a tactile box for the Lenten season with accompanying lessons.
Yesterday, I actually wrote it all out! Whoop!
So, today we will begin and I’ll be posting the lessons here for your perusal or use as you so desire. There are twelve lessons. They go from Ash Wednesday, through the six Sundays of Lent and through the last five days of Holy Week.
Tonight, before we go off to Ash Wednesday service I will place a pie plate on the table and fill it with sand. I will have my son place a cross in the sand and have my daughter place a piece of ash. We will then take turns drawing a winding path from the ash to the cross as we talk about Jesus. And we will read about how Jesus knew his life would lead to death on a cross even before he became a little baby.
Here is the lesson if you want to join us! Feel free to share!
2/18 Ash Wednesday: Leaving Heaven
Where to find it:
A Child’s First Bible by Kenneth N. Taylor: p.174
Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones: p.170 “Get Ready”, p.144 “Operation ‘No More Tears’”
Bible: Philippians 2:5-11
Today is Ash Wednesday and the first day of a season on the Christian calendar that we call Lent. On Ash Wednesday all around the world adults and children go to church and get an ash cross smudged on their foreheads. When the priest or pastor draws the cross he says, “From ashes you have come and to ashes you will return.” We say this to remember that God created Adam from the dust. It also reminds us that humans die and turn back to dust. During Lent we remember the time when Jesus gave up heaven to come to Earth as a human. Jesus knew that becoming human would mean he would have to die. Even before he became a little baby, from way up in heaven he could see that his life would lead to the cross.
Lent box activity:
Place the container on the table already filled with sand. Tell your family that you are taking a Lenten journey and remembering the time when Jesus was a human man. Have someone place the cross in the sand because at the beginning of the journey Jesus already knew that’s how it would end. Have someone place the piece of ash in the sand. Take turns drawing a path with your finger from the ash to the cross.
• Where was Jesus before he was a human baby? (John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”)
• Where is Jesus now? (Hebrews 12:2 “…and is seated on the right hand of the throne of God.”)
• What sort of things in heaven do you think Jesus had to give up to come to Earth as a little baby?
More questions (for older kids!):
• Did Jesus know that if he became human he would have to die?
• Did God know when he sent his son Jesus to be a baby that he would grow and one day die?
• What choices do we have every day to do the will of the Father?
Just as Jesus gave up heaven to obey God and come to Earth so that we could be close to God, what do we give up to be closer to God?
Think and pray until Sunday about what if any activity or behavior, you could give up or add as a family to be closer to God this Lenten season.
Pray as a family:
“Our Father in heaven, we thank you for loving us so much that you would send your son away from you in order to rescue us. Jesus, we thank you that you would love your Father and us so much that you would become a human man and rescue us. We thank you for your time on Earth and ask that you bring us closer to you during this period of Lent. Amen.”