Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about the time when Jesus came back to life. Help our time together to be holy time. In your name we pray, Amen.
Bible Story: Luke 24:1-12
Around our house, the holidays of Christmas and Easter last for weeks as our kids tell and retell the story. If you did not get a chance to do this last week, I suggest Group’s My First Hands-On Bible as a great introduction to the Easter Story. You can purchase one here: http://www.christianbook.com/my-first-hands-on-bible/9781414348308/pd/348308
If this is your second week working with the story, you might choose another Bible or even a Bible story book with the Easter story in it. Ask them how this second version compares to the first (you might have to get out the first version to compare and contrast).
If your kids really have a handle on this story, have them tell it to you, read the story, and compare both versions. We want them to know the big stories of the faith not only by heart, but also in their hearts, so a little repetition never hurt anyone.
If you don’t have easy access to this story, check out an Easy to Read Version here:
Activity: Capsule Surprise
One of the important things to drive home about the Easter story is what a surprise it was to the women and the disciples. They truly did not expect to come to the tomb to find it empty; they came to prepare for the funeral of their Lord. One way to show this to your children is to purchase sponge capsules at the dollar store or in the seasonal section of a discount store. I happened to find ones that were specifically for Easter, but any ones will work.
Get a bowl full of warm water and some sticks or chopsticks. You might want to do this in the kitchen or the bathroom to contain the water mess, and also consider giving a separate bowl to each child (mine didn’t share a single bowl very well).
Show them the capsule without the packaging. Ask them what they think it is. Ask them what they think will happen if we drop it in warm water. Then tell them, “This capsule reminds me of Jesus when he was dead and in the tomb: not fun, not useful, just dead.” Then ask, “But what happened three days later?” Then drop the capsules in the water and wait to see. We poked/stirred them with the chopsticks to help them open. My kids started chanting “One, two three!” to remind them how many days it took for Jesus to rise from the dead. Here’s what ours looked like:
When they are open, yell “Surprise! Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” Squeeze the water out of them, and let your kids keep them to remind them of the surprise of Easter. You will be surprised how something this simple will stay with them; a couple of weeks after we did this activity, one of my two-year-olds brought her sponge to me and told me “Jesus is alive!” She keeps track of it very well, and it has become a treasured possession.
Song: Christ Arose
This song is a perennial Easter favorite around our house. Enjoy!
Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith! I hope that this time was holy time for you.
Closing Prayer: (Can be a repeat after me prayer if you have non-readers in your family)
Thank you, God, for this holy time together to feed our faith as a family. Bless us as we remember that you are alive! Alleluia! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.