This year, our family is worshipping from home on Sunday mornings with our home congregation. Each Sunday, we prepare Communion, light a candle, grab our coloring sheets and colors, and make our favorite hot beverages before worship. I thought that during Lent, it would be good to dig out a practice from a few years ago, Lent in a Dish, and begin our worship preparation each week by adding something to our dish until we reach the joy of Easter. We will keep it in the living room, where we worship, and it will help us to remember our Lenten journey each time we gather there, no matter the purpose.
You can read more about the original “Lent in a Bag” resource here: http://www.buildfaith.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/in-a-bag-trifold-Cuthbert-4-1.pdf You can read more about the Lenten dish gardens here: http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2013/03/mini-resurrection-garden-easter-craft.html
(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 what it means to follow Jesus. Help our time to be a holy time. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Bible Story: Mark 8:27-38
Read Jesus’ words about following him in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:
We used the Spark Story Bible for our resource. The story, on page 322, is called “Peter’s Faith.” You can purchase one here: https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9780806670492/Spark-Story-Bible-Sunday-School-Edition
Discuss as a family:
What is something that you know about Jesus? Take turns sharing what you know.
Talk about a time when it was hard for you to do the right thing. Why do you think it was hard for Peter?
What are some ways that you follow Jesus? What else do you follow (rules, laws, directions, etc.)?
Song: I Want Jesus to Walk with Me
This is my favorite Lent song for kids. It gets the somber mood, but has a way to get the wiggles out. We held hands and walked in place while singing. If you wish to take this song further, think about what else you want Jesus to do with you: pray? sing? sleep? play? Sing an extra verse for each of your ideas.
Activity: Decorating Crosses
Before Lent began, we gathered all of the supplies we needed for the whole Lenten season Lent in a Dish. You can find the supply list here: https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2021/02/11/lent-in-a-dish-2021-preparing-for-lent/
This week, we need the dish, sand, Jesus figure and a small wooden cross. You can choose which decorating supplies you use by what you have on hand. You might decorate with markers or crayons, paints and paintbrushes, or mosaic tiles and glue. I have also covered wooden crosses with chalkboard paint, and used chalk to decorate.
When you are done decorating your crosses, place them in your dish of sand from last week. You might place your Jesus figure near by, or perhaps make a road in the sand with a cross following after Jesus.
Place the dish in a place where your family can see them over the course of the week. Ours will be in the living room on a shelf, which is where we gather to worship from home.
Bonus Activity: Paper Mosaic Crosses
When I returned to the craft store to purchase more small wooden crosses for my children to decorate, they were all gone! That’s what I get for trying to purchase crosses during Lent, I suppose. I came up with a simple cross that we could cut out of cardstock and decorate with glue sticks and bits of paper. You can find the template to print here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/lent-in-a-dish-week-2-making-crosses-activity.pdf
You can find instructions for the activity here: https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2021/02/25/lent-2021-activity-paper-mosaic-crosses/
We plan to hang up our crosses in the picture window of our living room, so that everyone who passes by our house can enjoy them as well. We will still use the original wooden cross in our bowl. If you don’t have access to a wooden cross, cut a small one out of stiff paper, a cereal box, or cardboard.
Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith! I hope that this time was holy time for you.
(Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn about how to follow you. Encourage us when the road gets long, and give us the strength to be your followers, now and always. In your name we pray, Amen.