The celebration of Ash Wednesday and the observance of Lent was not a part of my experience growing up, but over the past few years, I’ve grown appreciative of this time in the liturgical year to reflect, to repent, and to realign myself with God. And, I tell you, I’ve always loved Easter but it has so much more meaning and depth when connected to the preceding season of Lent.
Churches across America, even those that traditionally did not celebrate this season, are beginning to involve their congregations more and more in this time of reflection and repentance and it is a wonderful place for families to gather around the the story of God’s great Love and His unending faithfulness to us (For more on that from Family Life Today‘s Barbara Rainey, click here).
The first day of Lent and Ash Wednesday is coming (Wednesday, Feb. 10), but in many areas, so is the snow! If your church service gets cancelled or if your church doesn’t currently have an Ash Wednesday or Lent celebration, but you want to engage your family in the season, here are a few tools to use today/this week in your home that may give you some ideas and some guidance.
1. If you are on Facebook, search for a community activity called #picturelent . This online program walks you through Lent with devotions, activities and prayers for the whole 40 days. For more information, check out LEC Family at http://lecfamily.org/lent/. To see the scope and sequence of the entire event, click here.
What is Lent? – http://lecfamily.org/daily-devotio…/…/what-is-lent-all-about
Prayer for Lent – https://skitguys.com/videos/item/a-prayer-for-lent
Pslams for Lent – https://skitguys.com/vid…/item/psalms-for-lent-ash-wednesday
Preparing for Lent – https://skitguys.com/videos/item/preparing-for-lent
3. Need some coloring pages for your younger kids? Check out the collection at http://www.theclipartwizard.com/lent-coloring-pages.htm
4. Host your own worship service at home with your kids. Here are a list of current worship songs (like those you’d find on K-Love) that have great application to Lent. Consider looking up videos on YouTube and creating a worship list so you can worship as a family.
If you are more of a hymns family, here are a list of traditional Ash Wednesday hymns you may want to also look up!
5. There are several online Lenten devotionals you could choose to do as a family. If you do a search online, you will find many from various faith traditions. Here is one that is a collaborative effort from a number of denominations and even comes with a free App so you can keep up on your devices.
6. Likewise there are many online resources for celebrating Lent with your kids. Many of these are particular to a denomination, so an online search will provide you with lots of options. This page has a huge list of resources including a devotional from Ann Voskamp, Lilly Lewin and multiple crafts and activities for kids and families.
Whether you have traditionally celebrated Lent or not, these resources are worth checking out and considering as a way to invite Christ into your home. At the very least, it will open a chance for discussion with your family about why we celebrate Easter and why Christ’s death and resurrection is such a beautiful picture of God’s love, grace and faithfulness to us!
May your Lenten season be one full of knowing all those attributes deeper and more personally then you have ever experienced before. Blessings friends!
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- And much more!
About the author
Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.