(I'm sorry if this is a little longer than usual. I'll try to keep it interesting.)
Seder image from http://www.imafoodblog.com
I'm excited. It is almost Passion Week, and for the first time ever I'm really excited about celebrating! Not because Christ's death and resurrection have never moved me before, but this year I have decided that we will really "do it up."
I want this time to be special and meaningful for my family. To remind us of what really happened and what that means. "And we have the activities to swing it!" (That is for Craig who knows exactly where it came from.)
Now I could care less "who" began celebrating "what" at the beginning of Spring. The fact is that Mr. Wonderful, the kiddos and I are celebrating God's love, sacrifice and power next week full force. My hope and prayer is that each celebration, activity and observance deepens our understanding and awe of exactly what Christ's death and resurrection means to each of us personally.
Many thanks to the websites I borrowed from to get ideas. I'll try to list the ones I remember. (I'm new to this blogging and forget to save the sites for links.)
A special "shout-out" to my new friend, Mama Llama for the great ideas and sharing the same "passion." Visit her blog at http://www.littlellamas.com
Here's what I hope to do:
PALM SUNDAY: Jesus' Triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
A big lunch after church with lots of extras that I usually don't fix like extra garlic bread, more than one dessert and bunches of side dishes. I want the kids to get the idea of the great celebration and excitement of the day. We may make our own palm branches and decorate crowns. You get the idea.
MONDAY: Passover begins Monday at Sundown.
I love the picture of Passover, when obedience led to deliverance from death. Christ was obedient and He was the sacrifice for our deliverance from death in our sin. I am hoping to have a Passover dinner and explaining the symbolism of Christ in the Seder. (I am really excited about this as I adore the beauty and foreshadowing of the Old Testament.) Hopefully Daddy's Girl can help me prepare (she loves to cook), and it will open discussion.
TUESDAY: Jesus' feet anointed in Bethany.
(Other things happened too, but we will probably focus on this)
I have thought about letting the kids decorate jars and making fragrant oils to put in them. (This idea is not completely fleshed out.) I have also considered letting Daddy's Girl do a little "newspaper reporting" on what happened as she loves writing stories. Any ideas for the oil thing are welcome.
WEDNESDAY: This was the day that the plot was formed against Jesus.
We will probably gather stones for the children's Blessing Baskets. We will paint them black to represent our sins against God. These will go in their baskets on Friday and be replaced by goodies on Sunday morning. (Read http://www.gettingtoknowthepages.blogspot.com/2010/03/easter-baskets-and-blessing-baskets.html for more info. I LOVE it! Thanks Mama Llama for the link.)
THURSDAY: Wow! So many events this day!
The washing of the disciples feet, the Last Supper, the prayer in the garden,
the betrayal, the "trial."
I can't imagine where we will begin. I am pretty sure we will dye eggs that night and there is color symbolism there, but it is really just for fun (and eggs get funky if you dye them and leave them any earlier!) We may have a family foot-washing and talk about following Christ's example of serving others.
Because of the age of most of our kids, we probably will hold off on a family communion until they can really embrace it.
FRIDAY: Crucifixion, death and burial of Christ.
I'm hoping this will be a "quiet day" (baha!) in that we forgo any TV and noisy distractions to observe the day.
This is the day we will put the children's rocks in their baskets. I'm thinking about covering them with a red cloth to represent Christ's blood. Any thoughts on that?
We are going to make Resurrection Cookies too.
I have considered getting "The Passion" from Netflix for Mr. Wonderful and I to watch.
(I love Netflix.)
SATURDAY: Obviously not an event on the timeline.
Our Preschool Minister at church puts on a fantastic picnic with Easter Egg hunt and all. We love it and will spend the afternoon outdoors at that.
I've considered doing a "Passion Walk" that day. I read something like this last night and am sort of shooting from the hip on it with little ones. I thought I might set up a little walk with a station for each day we've observed. Each station would have an envelope that had pictures or verses or something that reminded us of that day in the life of Christ. I think this is a neat idea and would get us outside, but I haven't even begun to assemble it, so we'll see.
SUNDAY: He is Risen!
The children will get their Blessing Baskets that morning with all their goodies and we will talk about the symbolism of our sins being replaced with God's Gift and gifts! We will open the oven and see the cookies from last night (I hope they turn out better than last time. They are supposed to be hollow to represent the empty tomb.)
Then we will doll ourselves up and head on to church for what I am sure will be a fabulous celebration!
Afterwards, some of our friends always have a big lunch and egg hunt. We will eat and CELEBRATE the same as we did at the beginning of the week.
Hopefully that night we can reflect on the week and talk about what we did and didn't like and what meant the most to us.
I'm really excited! Can't you tell?!
(I always overshoot, so I'm sure that some things we will love, some we will leave and some we will lack. I'll keep you posted--no pun intended, well, maybe a little).
Empty tomb image from http://www.churchmedia.net