Monday, March 26, 2012

The 12 days of Easter

I found this information on Pinterest. Can I just say I LOVE Pinterest! If you put it together soon, you'll have enough time to start the 12 days of Easter. We will start Wednesday the 28th and finish Easter morning :)

Many of you know Santa is not a fixture in our family's celebration of Christmas. So it should be of no surprise that the Easter Bunny doesn't get invited into our Easter celebrations either. I just can't see how a bunny that lays eggs should get to share in the glorious celebration of our risen Lord and Savior. But that's just me!

 You can also check out this woman's blog where I got this idea. I've never meet her, but I would call Sister in Christ. And a fellow Momma who wants to share Christ with her children :)   This Blog Linked From Here
All of the following information is from her blog:

Start 12 days before Easter. Easter Sunday should leave you with the #1 egg to open. Each of the 12 eggs should hold a small trinket or conversation starter that will kind of fit in the egg. After the kids open the egg for that day, we read the story together in her Children’s Bible then talk a little bit about how the object relates to the story and how the story relates to our lives. My main purpose is to start to get her as excited about my Savior as I am.

Day 12: mini playdoh … “The name of Jesus”

Read the story of the Angel coming to Mary in Luke 1. Talk about what the name of Jesus - Immanuel “God with us” means. Talk about the meaning of our own names. Read Philippians 2:10 together and discuss. Use the playdoh to spell out the name of Jesus.

Day 11: Swedish fish candy (or goldfish) and a cracker … “Jesus feeds the 5000”

See how many times we can break the ‘bread’ and ‘fish’. Read the story in Matthew 14, Luke 9, or John 6. Talk about what it might have looked like and note how everyone got enough to be full and not just tiny pieces.

Day 10: toy boat … “Jesus calms the storm” (I found a tiny boat at the party store this year for a dime… but last year decorated a piece of mulch with a sharpie… no joke)

Read the story in Matthew 8, Mark 4 or Luke 8 and talk about why this is so amazing. Make a storm in a bottle (with a liter bottle oil water and food coloring) with your toy boat or storm in the bathtub and try to calm it instantly, which can’t be done.

Day 9: blindfold … “Jesus heals the blind man”

Lead them in a few activities with the blindfold on. Talk about how hard it would be to live life that way and how you’d feel if you were healed. Read about the healing in John 9. Note how the blind man reacted when Jesus told him who He was. How does God reveal Himself in our lives… how should we react?

Day 8: paper crown and a travel soap … “Jesus washes feet”

Talk about the meaning of royalty and the things that kings, queens, princesses are supposed to do. Explain how Jesus is the King of all Kings and what that means. Then read the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples in John 13 and how he came to serve and not be served. Is that what you’d expect the King of Kings to do? Take turns putting on the crown and washing each other’s feet talking about how we can serve the way Jesus did.

Day 7: sample perfume or scented lotion … “Mary Magdalene and the perfume”
Read the story of Mary pouring the perfume on Jesus’ feet from John 12. Talk about how expensive this was back then and what a big deal it was for her to do it. Discuss some other things are important to us now and how we can give them as an offering to God.... time, money etc.

Day 6: 4 quarters … “giving/ Rich young ruler”

Talk about what they’d like to do with the 4 quarters. Read the story Jesus tells of the rich young ruler from Matthew 19 or Luke 12 and then Acts 20:35 when Jesus says it is better to give than to receive. Now revisit the quarters and talk about what they’d like to do with the 4 quarters.

Day 5: TWO small treats or candy … “Jesus visits Zacchaeus”

Read the story in Luke 19. Talk about why people didn’t like Zacchaeus back then and how cool it is that Jesus not only saw and acknowledged him, but wanted to spend time with him… and how it changed the man’s life. Lead them to think about some people that they (or the world in general) haven’t been ‘noticing’. Invite them to seek out the person and share the extra treat and play with them.

Day 4: Time Coupon … “Jesus loved the children”

Read the story in Mark 10 . Talk about adults in our lives that obviously love children. How do you know and what do they do to show it? How do we think Jesus showed it? How would you like me to show you that I love you and value spending time with you? Fill out the time coupon together. (Although I’d like to steer her into wanting extra hugs or going on a walk together... I can already tell you that I am going to be in for 20 excruciating minutes of Barbies with this one. )

Day 3: Tearjerker gum … “Jesus wept.”

Read the story of Jesus healing Lazarus in John 11. Talk about how Jesus was a real person with real emotions like us. Note how he was sad, but never lost hope. He knew God was going to use Lazarus’ story for His glory. Talk about times when we feel sad, hurt, scared at times and how awesome it is to have hope like Jesus did in this situation because God is behind us and hears our prayers.

Day 2: Crayon and a slip of paper … “Jesus died for us”

Read the story of the crucifixion in Matthew 27, Luke 23 or John 19 and talk about how must have felt to love Jesus and be there that day... and how it might have felt for those who didn’t love Jesus but saw what happened. Write the word that you feel on the piece of paper and put it inside the egg for the next day. Bury the egg somewhere nearby.

Day 1: the egg is empty … “He is RISEN!”

Go find the egg (which has now been unearthed, broken open and is empty.) Read the story in Matthew 28, Mark 16 or John 20. Talk about how God gave us the most special gift ever when he gave us Jesus: Himself in a body to love us and show us how to live and to ultimately give his own life so that we could have an eternal relationship with him.... not because we deserved it at all... but because He loves us that much.

A commenter to this post also left the following ideas:

1) small piece of soap - read story about how Jesus washed the disciples feet

2) praying hands - we read about how Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane

3) coins - we talk about how Judas betrayed Jesus

4) an army solider - we talk about how the solders came and arrested Jesus

5) purple fabric - we talk about the purple robe they put on Jesus and called him names. I ask them how that would have made Jesus feel and use this as a lesson about how we need to use nice words

6) a piece of leather - we talk about how they whipped Jesus and put a crown of thorns on his head. I usually ask them if they have ever been hit & how that made them feel & ask them how they think it made Jesus feel

7) cross - we talk about how Jesus died on the cross for our sins and how they put nails in his hands & feet

8) dice - we talk about how the solders gambled for Jesus clothes

9) white fabric - we talk about how they wrapped Jesus body in linen after they took him off the cross

10) Rock - talk about how they put a stone in front of the tomb & Jesus was in there for 3 days

11) Empty egg - we talk about how the women came to put perfume on his body but the tomb was empty

12) Cotton ball - this is to represent the clouds when Jesus ascended into heaven

Some other things you could use are

* toy donkey - triumphant entry

* toy cup - last supper

* nail - the nails in Jesus hands & feet

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