memories

“I’m Coming Back”

2010-03-28T21:16:35+00:00

There is a beautiful story that you can read to your children Easter morning, after you have opened the golden egg and rolled the stone away on your Easter garden.  It is a story that has to do with the linen cloth placed over Jesus face during his burial.  Here it is.

The Folded Napkin (author anonymous)

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.

Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved.. She said, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!’

Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple out ran Peter and got there first. He stopped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.

Was that important? Absolutely!

Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day.   The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it.   The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.    The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant,  “I’m finished.”

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because……….

The folded napkin meant,

“I’m coming back”

author- unknown

“I’m Coming Back” 2010-03-28T21:16:35+00:00

An Easter Garden

2010-03-28T21:09:26+00:00

There is a fun craft that you can do with your children to represent the Easter story and the stone being rolled away to reveal Jesus’ resurrection.  It is a great tradition to start with younger children and can be made as elaborate as you want.

Easter Garden

You can take a shoebox or a disposable cake pan.  Fill it with soil or felt.  Cut a toilet paper tube in half to represent the cave. You can cover the tube with flowers or more felt.  Have your children wrap an action figure in cloth, to represent Jesus, and place him in the tomb.  Cover the opening of the “tomb” with a rock.  On Easter morning you can get up and “roll the stone away” to reveal an empty tomb.

This would be a very fun family activity to do beginning with Good Friday.  Then early Easter morning get up and go to the tomb for the big reveal.  Fun little activities like this help to cement these truths in children. Have fun and enjoy their creativity.

An Easter Garden 2010-03-28T21:09:26+00:00

An Act of Mercy

2010-03-28T21:06:11+00:00

One aspect we can focus on with the linen cloth is an act of mercy.  Joseph of Arimathea, stepped in after Jesus’ death.  He saw a need and gave hugely of himself for that need.  He risked getting in trouble with the soldiers and gave the tomb that was being saved for his family, to someone in need.

This is something that is easy for us to emulate: giving back during this holiday season and using the break from school to do so.  This could be the day to do such an activity.

We can learn from Joseph’s example and give our time and resources.  Teaching children to give to others is an invaluable lesson.  We have given several ideas in past blogs on what you can do as a family to help those around you in need. It doesn’t have to be complicated; it just has to be done!

An Act of Mercy 2010-03-28T21:06:11+00:00

Promises

2010-03-28T21:03:23+00:00

The spear in the Easter story is an amazing representation of the fulfillment of prophecy.  The Old Testament states that not a bone would be broken in Jesus body.  This is one example of God keeping his word.  There are so many amazing promises in the Bible.  We can use the fulfillment of prophecy to help children learn to focus on God’s promises.

A fun activity to do is make a promise coupon.  Children can think of something they can do for another family member.  A promise they alone can fulfill.  I could be something that they promise not to do, a teaching tool, such as I promise not to argue about going to bed. It could also be something nice that they will do for another family member, like helping mom clear the dinner dishes.  Writing promises down helps children remember.  This can be a fun way to help children learn to do what they have promised, like their Heavenly Father does.

Promises 2010-03-28T21:03:23+00:00

Remembering His Sacrifice

2010-03-23T08:32:26+00:00

It’s hard to imagine all that Jesus sacrificed to pay for our sins.  A good practice for anyone is to learn to take time to process that sin in their life.  This season as we remember what he has done for us, it should become all the more important.

One activity we did in youth group that made the process of repentance very real was actually nailing your sins to the cross.  This can be something that as a family you can do every Easter season or Good Friday.  Spend some time thinking of some sins, (even young children can do this) and writing them down on a sheet of paper.  If your children are young you can write it for them. Make a cross out of two by fours, or just use one that you have for decoration.  You can either place your papers at the foot of the cross or actually nail them to the cross.  Leave these out until Easter Sunday as a reminder and then, as a family, either remove them or tear them up.  This will help children visualize that what Jesus did on the cross removed our sins.

Remembering His Sacrifice 2010-03-23T08:32:26+00:00

Crowning our King

2010-03-23T08:28:10+00:00

Like we have talked about, the crown of thorns may also be a difficult thing to explain to children.  The fact that Jesus was mocked and beaten will be a hard thing for them to understand.

One thing that my mom did, was show us a branch with thorns.  We were able to hold it as she read that Bible passage.  Having something tactile to hold helped to make it more real.

Explain to your children that the reason they put a crown of thorns on his head was to mock Jesus; saying he was the king of the Jews.  But we know the truth.  Jesus is actually the King of Kings. An activity that can be done to help celebrate that fact is to make crowns. You can make them as elaborate as you have time for.  It would be a great lesson to be able to put the crowns up in a central location in your house to remind us that the King of Kings gave his life for us.  That is the very reason we celebrate this season!!

Crowning our King 2010-03-23T08:28:10+00:00

Helping Children Understand the Easter Story

2010-03-23T08:17:58+00:00

The horrible things that Jesus went through before His death may be a difficult thing to explain to small children.  But helping them understand the reality of what He did for us is very important.  One way to help them begin to understand, is by helping them to see what the outcome of his suffering was.

Jesus’ death and resurrection opened the door of communication between God and humanity.  Our sin stands as a barrier, but when Jesus took that sin upon himself and paid our penalty, that barrier was removed.

To help children visualize this lesson, you can explain that God allowed the cords of Jesus suffering to be part of the process to open the communication to Him. The activity that can help understand that new communication between God and man can be making an old fashion can/cup telephone.  Punch a hole in the bottom of a cup or can and thread the cord through.  Put a can on the other end and pull the cord taunt. You will then be able to hear a voice talking into the other end. This is an old fashion craft that is just as fun today.

Helping Children Understand the Easter Story 2010-03-23T08:17:58+00:00

Passover Meal

2010-03-22T08:47:48+00:00

When we open the purple egg, inside is a cup.  The cup symbolizes the Last Supper that Jesus celebrated with His disciples.  This is something that Christians celebrate several times throughout the year.  Some churches even take communion every Sunday in memory of the Last Supper.  The Last Supper is a picture of the fulfillment of the Jewish Passover. Even today Easter falls on different dates each year because we still celebrate our holy day around the Passover.

Why not do what Jesus did and celebrate both this year. Have a traditional Passover dinner.  This is a wonderful event to add to your Easter traditions.  The holiday of Passover is so beautifully steeped in Jewish tradition, which has been passed down through generations.  It is amazing to observe God’s hand as you see all of the messianic prophecies that are experienced through the meal.  This is a wonderful way to celebrate Jesus’ culture and understand the Last Supper, on a deeper level.

Passover Meal 2010-03-22T08:47:48+00:00

What do you value?

2010-03-13T13:21:34+00:00

The next egg has silver coins in it.  This tells the story of Judas betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.  One of the lessons to learn in this story is how far greed can take us.  Judas was focused on the wrong treasure.  He completely missed the privilege he had been given to be with our Lord.  He was so consumed with greed that he was willing to sell one of his closest friends to enemies for money.

In order to teach this lesson we can show our kids what the real treasures are in life.  The activity for today is a treasure hunt.  You can hide clues through out the house to the “buried treasure”.  The clues can even be hidden in eggs to make it more festive if you wish.  The treasure the kids can find could be pictures of family members, or families names, a Bible to represent God, ECT.  The point is to help them focus on what the true treasures are in life.  God, family, friends, freedom, life, this is where your creativity can take over as well.  Don’t miss the opportunity to steer them in the right direction, after things that are truly valuable!

What do you value? 2010-03-13T13:21:34+00:00

What are you thankful for?

2010-03-13T13:17:35+00:00

As we begin our next few days of activities to count down to Easter, we are following the “Resurrection Eggs” devotional.  If you don’t have the eggs you can just find that part of the story in your Bible to read to your children and continue on with the activity.  The first egg that is opened has a little donkey in it.  This is to commemorate the triumphal entry into Jerusalem by Jesus.  This story can be found in Matthew 21. Some celebrate it as Palm Sunday.

We can take our cue from this story and use this day to praise and thank God for what He has done in our lives.  Little “Easter trees” are a very popular decoration right now.  These little trees have cute little eggs hanging from them.  We can make a “praise tree” to remind us what we are thankful for during this holiday.  You can utilize one of the Easter trees if you have one.  Just cut out pretty pieces of paper and have your family write down what they want to praise God for. You can also make a construction paper tree on your wall to decorate with your families praises.  Beginning to focus our minds during this season is a very important habit to begin.

The goal: To stop and thank God for the gift we are given at Easter.

What are you thankful for? 2010-03-13T13:17:35+00:00