I didn’t grow up in a church that recognized the season of Lent. Each year, Easter Sunday seemed to sneak up on us as a family. The biggest preparations I remember making had more to do with posing for photos in my special Easter dress, epic egg hunts and ham dinners than with the gospel. What I missed out on then, I know much more fully now: it’s only by recognizing the weight of my own sin (while far from comfortable) that I can more fully appreciate the extravagant, free gift of grace through Jesus Christ. An extended period of time, like the season of Lent, gives my stubborn dark heart a chance to soften and bend more towards the true Light. Paired with Advent, the Lenten and Eastertide seasons give Christ-followers worldwide an opportunity to rehearse the timeless truth of the gospel: Christ has come, Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again. Hallelujah! What good news!
During Lent, our family likes to re-read the gospel accounts, imagining what it must have felt like to be a disciple walking with Jesus. We linger in the parable stories while we prepare our garden for the coming months. We slow down, simplify our routines, purge and deep clean the house (an outward act that often mimics the deep cleaning going on in our own hearts)...
We also frequently use handmade toys or items (wooden figurines, felt overlays, small tokens / symbols, candles, etc) to enrich our Bible studies throughout the season. Paired with daily readings, we’ve noticed that having small items to hold onto and move around can help sustain our kids’ interests, create a focal point, and give space for re-enactment and narration.
This year, we’ll be using a combination of our wooden cradle-to-cross wreath, Easter story cards by Brighter Day Press and ‘resurrection eggs’ to help walk us through the last days of Jesus’ ministry on earth. We’ll open one egg a day starting on Palm Sunday, and each of the items tucked inside corresponds with the Bible reading and illustrated story card.
If you google ‘resurrection eggs’ you can find all kinds of great examples of what to include to make a set of your own. Here’s what we’ve placed in ours:
Palm Sunday | leaf
Monday | 3 wooden ‘coins’
Tuesday | scroll (cloth + 2 small dowel rod pieces)
Wednesday | essential oil
Maundy Thursday | piece of bread
Good Friday | 3 nails (glued in cross shape)
Saturday | strip of linen cloth
Sunday | empty
We purchased a set of paper mache eggs but this can be done with any fillable eggs you already have on hand.