Starting soon, the church across the world will begin a celebration of Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. This week is arguably the most important on the Christian calendar, representing for believers that pivotal moment with death was swallowed up in victory! It is the very foundation of our faith, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
However your church or your family celebrates Easter, this time of year is the perfect time to tell your kids THE STORY of all stories. The great story of Scripture, God’s Great Rescue Plan!
A couple of years ago, I shared the following message with our families in church but there is no reason you can’t do the same in your home. Invite your kids into the greatest story of all times and let them be drawn into the wonder and mystery that is our faith.
Props: 2 red hearts, one black lightening bolt, one brown cross. (I cut mine out of construction paper)
Gather your family together and pick one parent to be the story teller. Everyone else will help with the props.
Okay you guys, I need your help today to tell a story. And this isn’t just any story; this is THE STORY. The story of all time! And you get to be a part of it!! So, who wants to be my first helper?
(Choose child to hold Red Heart)
All great stories have a great first line. Usually we say “Once upon a time” but… How about we start it this way… In the beginning, God created… EVERYTHING! He created the earth and the sky, the bugs and the fish, the trees and the flowers, and then he created us. And when he did, he looked at us and said, “Man (because there was only a man at first) I love you!” And Man looked at God and said, “God, I love you too!” And everything was perfect.
(Choose child to hold Black Lightening Bolt)
Then one day, something terrible happened. Everything was perfect. God loved Man and Man loved God and all was well until… Well, as you know, every story has to have an evil villain so we are going to call our evil villain.. SIN. (refer to black lighting bolt). Sin snuck right into that perfect world, being the sneaky villain that it is and it BAM! Came right between God and Man!! God still loved man very much but man choose Sin over God. Things were not perfect any more. It was a very sad time. Man was sad and started doing sad things, more and more sad things, and SIN kept pushing Man further and further away from God.
But God… he’s the good guy in our story… God still loved Man very much. He knew that Sin was out there trying to steal Man’s love and even before Man had chosen Sin, God had a plan in place to bring Man back to Him. God did something absolutely amazing, like a total SUPERHERO move!
(Choose child to hold Brown Cross)
God did an amazing thing. He decided to leave His place in heaven where he was safe and come to earth as a Man, and Man called Jesus, and fight the evil villain. It was an epic battle. Jesus told the villain he couldn’t’ win, that he would defeat him, and Sin fought by telling Man to do evil things until one day, one very sad day, Man put Jesus on the cross because of Sin. Man killed Jesus. It seemed like all hope was lost.
Now, we’ve watched some great Superhero shows right? Those shows, they are basically getting their story line from THE STORY, so you probably know what’s going to happen. Because in those movies, when the superhero looks totally defeated by the villain, what happens? (Kids might say things like the superhero comes back to life, or gets stronger, or beats the bad guy)
That’s right!! Sin isn’t strong enough to beat Jesus. Just when we think all hope is lost TA-DA, the grave opens and JESUS ISN’T THERE because He is Risen!! Sin is defeated!!!! God Wins!!! Oh, wait, but what about Man?
(Choose child to hold Red Heart)
Because Jesus beat Sin on the Cross, Man has an amazing opportunity. If we want to, we can have that perfect love relationship with God again. Sin cannot stop us from loving God and it could never stop God from loving us. We can go to God anytime we want because of Jesus’ victory on the cross and say, “God, I choose to love you and hate Sin. Jesus, you’re my superhero!”
(Have the kids lay all the signs out on the floor in a row)
Now, you may ask, why I told this story today. Because right now, on Palm Sunday, we are right in the middle of the story. We are right here.
(Point between lightening bolt and cross)
This week we will remember the moments that led up to Jesus being put on the cross by Man because of Sin. We will remember some sad things. On Maundy Thursday, we will remember the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples. On Good Friday, we will remember Jesus dying on the cross. I don’t know about you guys but I always cry at that part in superheroes, you know, when the superhero gets hurt and you wonder if He’s going to be okay. And I will probably cry this week too as we get to that part of our story.
BUT… and this is so important
Next Sunday we will celebrate the BIGGEST SUPERHERO VICTOR OF ALL TIME!! Next Sunday we will remember that SIN was defeated! That our HERO came back to life and SAVED the DAY! And that we can be in the perfect love relationship with God again.
So this week , as you go about your days and you think about the Story, take time to remember. You might even cry. But know this, The Story doesn’t end in sadness. It ends with a LOVE SO BIG it wins every time! And you get to be a part of that story!!
This story may spark some great conversation in your home. You might want to prepare ahead of time to answer questions about how they can choose that perfect love relationship with God, what is Sin, and other questions about salvation and God’s love. The Story provides the perfect way to get into some amazing conversations with your kids and Holy Week is a great place to springboard those Faith Talks!
Many blessings to all of you as you prepare to celebrate with one another and the entire Body of Christ!
(This article originally appeared on March 27, 2015 on this blog)
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About this Blog
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, 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. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family and Seedbed