Well, here we are on the cusp of Lent. I would say time has flown but in the latter weeks of pregnancy there is no such thing! We had another beautiful baby boy on 1st February - Finn Boaz - and his older brothers are enjoying having him around so far, as are we!
Last year I wrote about what I was planning for Lent and as always, the best laid plans…I didn’t quite make it through the first 46 Psalms as I intended but I definitely was more disciplined about spending time each day nurturing my spiritual life. And my idea to read 40 Reasons to Trust God with the boys didn’t happen at all really. But this is a new year and as always being intentional about these things sometimes leaves us vulnerable to spiritual attack so I’m going to be brave with our plans and pray that we can make it happen.
We actually had a really good Advent period, lighting our candles and having an Advent devotion every night – including when we went away for a weekend and brought our candles with us! Both boys can still tell you the five candles of Advent, what they represent and – most importantly – what that means.
The problem is they have got a bit obsessed with the idea that Jesus is a baby despite lots of chat about the fact Jesus grew up. And the Lent and Easter period isn’t as child friendly and easy to understand as Christmas. But to make the joy of Easter Sunday real we need to do some prep! So here’s what we’re planning for Lent:
We had bacon and pancakes for dinner and did an introduction to Lent – how we spend the weeks leading up to Easter thinking about Jesus and how his time on Earth was all building up to the events of Easter.
I thought that given the success of the candles as anchors in their day, we will use candles again in Lent. I have a big church style candle that cost 75p from IKEA that we’ll use over Lent so it doesn’t even have to be costly (though I bet you go to IKEA for the candle, forget it and come home with a new home organisation system, a door mat and some napkins….)
I’m sure there are colour systems you can use over Lent, I’m pretty certain that purple is the colour people use, but as we’re just using a candle to focus our attention rather than as a visual learning point, I’m not too concerned about making it fancy!
I am going to just tell them lots of stories about Jesus over Lent – using the Jesus Storybook Bible and intersperse it with the stories from 40 Reasons to Trust God that cover the names of Jesus. The boys have got really into names and their meanings of late (thanks to lots of chat about their names in the lead up to baby Finn’s arrival) and I think they’ll respond well to this book now. There are 18 names associated with the gospel stories of Jesus – names like Immanuel, Teacher, Servant, Lord - in the 40 Reasons to Trust God book.
I plan to do the Jesus Storybook stories and when they overlap with the other book I will then follow up with a more detailed look at the name of Jesus that relates to that story the next day. And then on Saturdays we’ll do memory verses (see below) and on Sundays probably just a craft or family prayer time.
We’re going to learn a couple of verses over Lent. I think Daniel will be able to get this and Rory definitely will!
Joshua 1 v 9 Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Matthew 5 v 16 Let your light shine so that men may see your good deeds, and glorify your Father in Heaven.
I'm praying you all have a beneficial Lent that gets your kids excited for Easter Sunday. We always do an egg hunt with a little Easter book and gingerbread chick as the finishing prize on Easter Sunday and then go to church. Although three of the last four Easters we’ve had family things on Easter weekend (a family wedding, a holiday last year with the Woods side of the family etc) so I’ve really missed not worshipping at our home church over Easter.
Amazon links to the books mentioned above:
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