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 God, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family. Help this time to be a holy time for us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Bible Story: John 12:20-33
Read Jesus’ words about following him in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+12%3A20-33&version=ERV
We used the Spark Story Bible for our resource. The story, on page 446, is called “Serve and Follow.” You can purchase one here: https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9780806670492/Spark-Story-Bible-Sunday-School-Edition
Discuss as a family:
Have you ever wanted to meet Jesus? What would you want to do with or say to Jesus?
Have you ever planted a seed? What was that experience like?
Have you ever felt like you were dead and came back to life? Or known someone who did? Tell that story.
Have you ever been confused by something that Jesus said? How does it feel to know that the disciples were sometimes confused, too? Maybe we can follow Jesus, too, even when we don’t fully understand!
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: Burying Seed
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, a small wooden cross, a coin, a small candle, and several small seeds or dried beans (ours are dried pinto beans). To me, one of the most hopeful things that you can do is to plant a dead seed in the ground and know that one day it is going to grow and become a full plant that feeds us or gives us beauty. What are some things that you are hoping for? Looking forward to? Take turns sharing your hopes as your bury your seeds in the sand in your dish. You might respond to each other’s hopes be responding, “With God, all things are possible.”
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: Crop Art
One of my friends, who is a Minnesota State Fair fanatic, has become interested in doing crop art. SInce we were talking about seeds dying and rising, we invited her to teach us about crop art for kids. We kept it simple, cutting circles out of corrugated cardboard, purchasing a 15 bean soup mix from the grocery store, and using Elmer’s Washable Clear Glue. Here’s our finished products:
If you need more inspiration, here is a blog post with more specific instructions: https://www.howweelearn.com/seed-art-ideas-kids/
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 more about you and our faith. Help us to continue to follow you. In your name we pray, Amen.