Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Resurrection Day, Lenten period, and Holy Week ideas

A friend was asking what other friends have done in the past for the Lenten season. Just as we take the time before Christmas (the season of Advent) to focus on the whole reason for the date being important to us in the first place, we do the same for that thing to prepare our hearts for the day we celebrate Christ's Resurrection from the grave.

Our church does not actually observe Lent and I know we don't observe Lent in our house the way that many denominations would suggest we observe it. But, I have come to enjoy the 40 days leading up to Resurrection Sunday as a time to focus on the things of God and drawing us nearer to Him. Then, too my little ones don't only have a focus on Easter as simply a day of candy and such.

So, over the years, I have collected several resources to help us to purpose to think about what Christ went through for us. Some of them are just for Holy Week, some will cover the entire 40 Days of Lent. Some are free. Some are not. Hopefully, you will find one here that you can use for you or your family.

To use with your children:

Jesus -  The Life-Giver    This one is for Holy Week, starting with Palm Sunday. It has a cute flower craft to do for each day during that week. It does have a price tag associated with it. I would not buy it just yet. Wait and see if it goes on sale closer to Palm Sunday.

Amon's Adventure - A Family Story for Easter    Written by the author of the Jotham's Journey trio, this book has 28 chapters to read. You could easily stretch them to cover 40 days or just the 28 days leading up to and including Easter Sunday. And since I have linked to Amazon, obviously it is not a free one.

Miss Pattycake's Eggstravaganza     This wonderful video has been in our home since the big children were really little (maybe 14 years at this point!!). It is a favorite amongst the littles. Miss Pattycake uses Resurrection Eggs to tell the story of easter.

Some children's books to add to your home library:

Benjamin's Box     This book also uses the Resurrection Eggs to tell the story leading up to Resurrection Day. A sweet book for the younger set.

The Parable of the Lily     We love this story (we love all 4 books in this series for that matter!).

The Tale of Three Trees     I love to read this book as it takes us briefly through the life of Christ via three trees.

The Very First Easter     You can read this with your older children, or spread it out over several readings with youngers.

For you to read:

The Lent Project - from Biola University   (free)  This is an online resource, but I have not used it for Lent before. They have done beautiful readings for Advent and I expect the ones for Lent to be just as beautiful. If you like, click the play button and there is pretty music to read to.

Lenten Lights     (free)  From John Piper's site, Desiring God, this is a wonderful series of readings for Holy Week. I have enjoyed using this one in the past.

Love to the Uttermost     (free)  Another from Desiring God. Again I have enjoyed using this in the past. It is free for the digital versions (you can even print out the PDF version offered), but you can buy it in paperback form.

Trail to the Tree by Ann Voskamp    (free)  I LOVE this devotional. It is scheduled over 17 days. It can be done with your family and it includes images to print to do a "Jesus Easter Tree."  You do have to sign up on her email list or RSS feed to get the link for it. I consider it worth the bit of effort.