Easter is one of those seasons I invest in heavily in the children’s ministry program at our home assembly. I decided early on that while bunnies and chocolate are among the more pleasant things in life, I wanted our Easter celebrations to center on Christ and Him alone. I longed to present in the most profound, yet tangible, way possible redemption’s’ plan at work through our Saviour.
A ministry peer, Crystal Card, had shared on her own children’s ministry blog of her efforts to do the same in a previous ministry year.Through a dramatic, interactive and multi-sensory presentation, she beautifully and relevantly presented Christ to a new generation of children, remarkably characterized as experiential learners.
I knew that I could not encapsulate her presentation to the fullest extent but with a few adaptations that best suited my program and my resources I could still present Easter in a powerful way. I set to work with a template and a plethora of ideas to put together a night I entitled, Holding Easter in My Hands. The foundational concept of the night was that as children traveled through the various stations of the Easter story with the help of a guide, they would collect small tokens that would serve as reminders of the significant elements of the life changing message of salvation accomplished through Christ’s death and resurrection.
Children would walk along the palm laden streets of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, collecting a leaf from a palm tree as a reminder of that day of rejoicing that would lead to a time of deep sadness.
From there they traveled to the site of the Last Supper. They collected a small coin to remind them of the betrayal of Judas, and a small cracker they symbolized Christ’s broken body, that first communion.
The darkened Garden of Gethsemane followed. While learning of the tears Jesus shed as he surrendered to Gods plan of salvation and the painful death that was to come so that our freedom could be accomplished, they collected a small rose bud. There is indeed beauty in his brokenness.
Nearing the end of their journey children sat at the foot of The Cross as they learned of the crucifixion and gave thanks for Jesus’ sacrifice. They collected a small nail and wooden cross of their own that would speak for weeks to come of the deep sorrow and painful death of Jesus in that Good Friday.
Lastly, through a darkened pathway they entered The Tomb. As they saw his grave clothes, they were reminded that our God is not dead; Jesus was raised to life again. He is alive! They gathered a small stone that would speak of the stone that was rolled away and a piece ofcloth to remind them of the empty grave clothes when he stood from the grave with new life!
At the end of the night the children were left holding the story
of Easter in their hands. They had seen, heard and touched
the story. And now they could take it with them. Is that
not the beauty of the gospel, that even a child in the
simplest of ways can be wrapped in the love of the
Good News and can bring it to the world. I would not
trade the privilege to facilitate eternal moments like these
for all the Cadbury chocolate money can buy.
Please use and adapt these ideas with my blessing and this prayer:
Lord, may you, by the Spirit of God, use our humble offerings to share the Good News of the Gospel with this next generation of children who profoundly need to encounter and experience your love, grace and hope in the realest and purest of ways. Amen.
Holding Easter in My Hands Ashley Kentie Originally published April 2015 at www.abrewedlife.com. Ashley is the Children’s Pastor at Springdale Pentecostal Church, Springdale NL. She is an avid writer and has recently released a blog where she shares about life, faith and ministry.