In the beginning, God created everything and it was good. He created us in His image to share His love with us and to share that love with each other. Sadly, we end up rejecting God’s love by not following what He wanted us to. This is called sin. That means we are separated from God and continue to be separated from Him. Thankfully, He didn’t want us to live separated from Him, He had a plan. He sent His son, Jesus, both God and man, to make a way for us to be with God again.
Jesus showed us what loving God and others looks like. By dying on the cross, Jesus paid the consequence of our rejection of God so that we can once again be in God’s presence. But God’s story doesn’t end there. We now have a part to play by following Jesus’ example by showing others what it’s like to love God, love others and do the good things Jesus did.
Just as the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus to do all he did while he was on Earth, God sent the Holy Spirit to help us do all these things too. Those of us who have chosen this way to live will one day be with God when He restores all of His creation to the goodness that it was in the beginning.
Easter is the part of the story where we remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter. It is traditionally a time of fasting and repenting, so that as Jesus dies on the cross, we are ready to be in God’s presence once again.
Below are a selection of ideas you can use throughout Lent. As you read the stories or do the activities, check with our 6 cards above. Which part of God’s Big Story is part of the story you are reading? Is it all of them, or just one or two? If you would like printed copies of any of the documents below, please let me know.
This Easter, let’s celebrate God’s Big Story!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not die, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Jesus Storybook Bible Lent Guide
Use the Jesus Storybook Bible to follow the events of God’s Big Story. Comes with instructions to make a chain of stories which you could create as you read or make first and then remove the stories as you read them to countdown to Easter Sunday.
A Jesus Tree, similar to a Jesse Tree, walks you through all the major events of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection over the 40 days of Lent. This booklet will have your family read almost the entire Gospel of Matthew over the course of Lent. Use every day or just pick your favourite stories. Draw your own ornaments, using the suggestions in the book, or create your own. Display them around your house or in one place.
40 Days of Lent
A family devotional which focuses on some of the prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah and then stories around the life of Jesus.
Much like an Advent calendar, use one of these ideas to countdown the days until Easter by doing special tasks each day.
40 Acts of Love (prepared by Central Vineyard, UK)
Family activities (prepared by Little Roots, Deep Shoots)
Dave the Donkey
Watch the story of Dave the Donkey, a donkey who has a very special part to play in the Easter story. Then chose an activity from the accompanying activity book. Dave the Donkey is brought to you by Lost Sheep. Check out their other stories.
Easter Lego Challenge
So you’ve probably got heaps of lego at home and plenty of time. Why not recreate the stories of Easter using lego? This website gives suggestions of what to build. You could also use The Lego Brick Testament as inspiration for scenes to make.
Easter Recipe Book
Do you have a family who like to bake and cook? Why not cook your way through Easter? Now you can with this recipe book. Recipes include dirty feet, garden goodness, rock and roll meatballs, empty tomb treat.
Easter: A Story of Risk
A Story Of Risk is an eight-day guide to imaginative Scripture reading. It is designed to encourage a deeper, experiential connection with the Scripture stories often told in the Easter season. It covers eight select passages from the gospel of Matthew and includes guided exercises through each passage. Colouring pages are provided for the kids. If you are unable to print the pages, use them as a suggestion of what the kids might like to draw or even better, let them use their imagination to create their own scene. This devotional is prepared by Vineyard USA.
Chat and Catch Easter Story
Using every day objects you will journey through the last week of Jesus’ life and spend some time connecting with God. You can use this devotional over the entire span of Lent or use in the final week leading up to Easter. The devotional uses common items in your home as a focus point.
Create bunting to decorate your home. Use this template or create it with whatever you have around your house, eg wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, old tshirts. Hang it in your window or at your front door.
YouVersion put out heaps of devotionals on just about any topic you can think of. Here are some Easter ones for your family:
What you need:
- YouVersion app
- Go to www.my.bible.com
Search up the following titles:
- A Bunny, Eggs & Jesus (5+ years)
- What’s in the Bible: Holy Week (all ages)
- Children’s Guide to Easter (preschool)
- The Way to the Saviour (5+ years)
- Allo Mate! Nothing But the Blood of Jesus (11+ years)
- Happy Easter (11+ years)