A new song (to me) for Easter from Emu Music – from the only album of theirs we don’t have in the Vicarage. Yet.
In my search for help on the Passover meal I’m catering for church this Thursday evening (over 40 folk signed up – eeek!), I visited Ann Voscamp’s beautiful blog the other day. Through her I was pointed to Willow of Wonder, another artistic blog where there are free Easter poster downloads available at the moment. I’ve printed one out for our kitchen noticeboard this week – there is a selection of colours available. Willow has an Etsy shop with some great scripture prints for kids which can be shipped to the UK (and some can be downloaded).
Posted in Faith, tagged 22 Words, Abraham Piper, Bible, BibleGateway.com, Christianity, cross, disciples, Easter, faith, gospels, graphics, harmonisation, Holy Week, Holy Week timeline, illustration, Jesus, openbible.info, picture, resurrection, visual, visualisation on 20 April, 2011 | 3 Comments »
I’m sure a bunch of you have already seen this around the blogosphere, but I only spotted it yesterday. It’s a really cool picture of where everyone was in Holy Week – Jesus, the disciples, the Jewish leaders, the crowds, the guards etc. Am wondering how to get this printed out much bigger – A0 would be cool.
[HT Abraham Piper, as usual]
Regular readers know that I’m a big fan of Andrew Peterson’s Christmas album, Behold the Lamb. This week I came across his Palm Sunday song ‘Hosanna’ from his 2008 album Resurrection Letters Vol II (Vol I is apparently still in the pipeline). Enjoy.
You have crushed beneath your heel the vile serpent.
You have carried to the grave the black stain.
You have torn apart the temple’s curtain.
You have beaten death at death’s own game.
Posted in Faith, Family, tagged activity, all age, Children, Craft, cross, death, donkey, Easter, Family, illustrations, Jesus, Kids, nails, paint your own eggs, prayer, resurrection, Resurrection Eggs, stone, Sunday school, toddlers, tomb on 15 April, 2011 | 5 Comments »
The other day I noticed an interesting tweet in my Twitter stream:
Just finishing talk for tomorrow’s Easter Praise. Have taken @thevicarswife Resurrection Eggs & adapted them for under 3s. It will be mayhem
So I got onto Abi, who was responsible for the tweet and asked her if she’d mind writing up the details of her session – I thought it might be a useful resource for all toddler group/Sunday school teachers out there. She very kindly sent me a write up and a photo of her eggs. And there’s even still time before to use her ideas this Easter. Maybe even if you’re a Vicar struggling for an All Age Easter Sunday talk aswell. So, over to guest blogger, Abi:
Our Parent & Toddler group is a thriving ministry and the leaders are great at taking opportunities each week to share the gospel. Two notable opportunities that are taken are at Christmas and Easter. A short ‘Toddler Praise’ service takes place as part of the normal session in the church. This year I was asked to do the short talk. My natural comfort-zone is Pathfinders (11-14 year olds), but I agreed nonetheless!
I remembered reading about Resurrection Eggs last year, and so took the idea and adapted it for pre-schoolers. I reduced the number of eggs involved down to 6. I also used much larger eggs. My local Hobbycraft had some ‘paint your own’ cardboard eggs, about the size of an average chocolate Easter egg. I painted them in bright colours and numbered them 1-6. The numbering was crucial, if only so that I opened them in the right order! The colours were just for the children. I scattered the eggs about for the children to find at the appropriate time(which they were very eager to do). Although the way I told the story was aimed at getting and keeping the children’s attention, I was aware that parents would be listening, so some of the language is maybe a bit adult for the younger toddlers.
I explained to the children that I was to tell them a true story; that it was all about the first ever Easter and was all about Jesus. I said there were some sad parts, but there were also happy parts. I explained that to help us learn this true story, there are some eggs hidden around the place that have bits of the story inside. At this point some children ran to get the eggs, whilst others sat still pointing to where they were…!
We opened the eggs in number order to see what was in each egg, with me saying something along the following lines:
- Donkey – Jesus was going to a town called Jerusalem with his friends. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Some people were very happy to see him, and they welcomed him, shouting ‘Hosanna’ and ‘Jesus is King’. But some of the leaders weren’t very happy to see Jesus. They didn’t like that the people liked Jesus.
- Praying hands (just a picture found via google) – Later that week, Jesus went with his friends to pray in a garden. Jesus prayed to his Father God that he was doing the right thing. But while he prayed, soldiers, sent by the leaders came and arrested Jesus.
- Cross – The soldiers took Jesus away and made fun of him, and put a heavy wooden cross on his back. He was made to carry it up to a nearby hill. Some people cheered, but some people knew this was very sad, and cried.
- Nails – On the top of the hill, Jesus was nailed to the cross. It hurt him a lot. Jesus had never done anything wrong, like we have, but he was treated like he was a criminal by the soldiers. Even though this was the middle of the day, on a Friday, it became really, really dark. In the dark and with the sadness of his friends and family, Jesus died.
- Stone – Some of Jesus’ friends gently carried Jesus to a tomb, cut in the rock. A bit like a small cave. A huge stone was put over the tomb so no-one could get in or out. Jesus’ friend were sad, and thought they would never see him again. Three days later, on the Sunday, a woman called Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. She was amazed to see that the huge stone wasn’t blocking the way in, and like our sixth egg, the tomb was:
- Empty! – Jesus had risen from the dead. It was such happy news. Our true story has a happy ending.
I went on to explain how it can be a happy ending for us today, because Jesus died and rose from the dead so we could be saved.
I also said: “When we say or do things that are wrong, we must say sorry, don’t we?, to our parents or friends or brothers or sisters. We need to say sorry to God too. We ignore him, we say wrong things, we do naughty things. The Bible calls this sin.
Because of Jesus, who has never done anything wrong, or said anything naughty, and has never ignored God, we can be friends with God. We can be saved. Jesus’ death and rising again means we won’t be enemies with God, if we trust in Jesus and ask God for his forgiveness. We will be safe and we will be forgiven.
Dear God, thank you that you sent your Son Jesus to die and rise again, so that by trusting in Jesus and asking for forgiveness we can be friends with God, we can be forgiven and we can be saved. Amen”
Things to note:
>- Make sure an adult is nearby to give the nails to when that egg is opened! With the other items, the Toddlers often picked them up to wander off to show their parent or grandparent.
- We sang a song part-way through to break it up. We also sang one at the start and one at the end. All 3 had actions, and 2 were ones they knew from being incorporated in the usual weekly singing time (a mixture of Christian and other songs/choruses)
- This could be adapted and expanded for an all-age service with Bible readings included in the contents of the eggs to make it helpful to a wider age-range, along with other parts to the service as well of course!
Last year I made a set of Resurrection eggs to talk the kids through the Easter story over 12 days leading up to Easter Sunday. Actually, last year, I started rather late, so it went on post-Easter too.
After Easter I discovered that they sell empty plastic eggs in The Works – those shops seem to be nearly everywhere. Much easier than sending off to Baker Ross. So you could pop out this weekend and sort out a set. I was thinking that making a set would be a fun activity for the holidays. We’ll dig out our set from the cellar and maybe tweak the contents a bit.
Just to save you clicking through, here are the readings and fillings from the original post.
Day 1: Cottonwool ball soaked in perfume (not sure how authentic Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is as a fragrance)
Day 2: 5p pieces for the silver – thankfully I had some in my purse.
Day 3: Matthew 21:1-11. Donkey or palm leaf – Playmobil pot plant pieces.
Day 4: Matthew 26:26-29. Cup or bread – a Playmobil wine glass and a piece of bread.
Day 5: Luke 22:39-46, 54a. Praying hands or pipecleaner man – I stuck together some pink foam which I cut into the shape of praying hands. A little lurid in colour.
Day 6: John 19:1-7. Purple cloth. Well the cloth is maroon, but it was the best I could find.
Day 7: John 19:16-17. Cross. I made this by snipping off the bottom of one of the kids’ palm crosses and sticking it together. Shhhh – don’t tell them.
Day 8: John 19:18. Nails. Sourced from the Vicar’s tool cupboard.
Day 9: John 19:33-35. Toothpick (for the spear). Actually I used half a cocktail stick (no toothpicks in the Vicarage), covered in silver foil.
Day 10: Matthew 27: 57-60. Rock. Some gravel from the drive. Washed.
Day 11: Mark 16:1-3. Cinnamon/cloves/spices. Had plenty of these in the cupboard.
Day 12: John 20:1-8. And nothing in the egg! This was easy.
If you’re really keen, Meredith commented last year with fifteen readings from Mark or even a series of 21 readings which you could use instead. And a Twitter friend mentioned that she’s adapted the idea for her Sunday school class. I’m hoping to extract some details from her later!
Posted in Faith, tagged Bible, biblical research, Cambridge, Christianity, cross, David Instone-Brewer, death, Easter, evidence, experts, Jesus, Jewish, manuscript, Munich Talmud, Peter Williams, resurrection, Tyndale House, video, YouTube on 5 April, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Tyndale House, the biblical research centre in Cambridge, have produced three short video clips for Easter, with biblical scholars talking about evidence for Jesus’ trial, death and resurrection. One of the clips, where David Instone-Brewer and Peter Williams are looking at the Munich Talmud, was something I’d never heard about before – a very early Jewish manuscript tradition which speaks of the charges that were brought against Jesus. Fascinating.
I’ve been thinking a lot this Easter about how the resurrection of Jesus shows that God really can turn hopeless situations around. This clip gives you an idea of how hopeless…