2012 is flying by! It is hard to believe that this coming Wednesday, February 22nd, is the first day of one my favorite times of year…Lent. What is Lent? Great question!
Lent (the word comes from the Middle English word for “spring”) is a six-week season in the Christian year prior to Easter. Technically, Lent comprises the 40 days before Easter, not counting the Sundays, or 46 days in total. If Lent is something new for you, I highly recommend Dr. Mark Roberts article “How Lent Can Make a Difference in your Relationship with God”, which gives a wonderful, easy to read and understand, explanation of what Lent is about and its history.
Lent is celebrated by Catholics, yes. But it is also celebrated by many Evangelical and Reformed Protestant Christians as well.
Lent is a very special time of year for me and for my family! It is a wonderful time that we can use as a special time of renewing, reflection and surrendering every area of our lives to Jesus…and let Him be our Savior and our Lord! The six weeks of Lent are great opportunities to really focus on Jesus, His life, His death and His resurrection…and the amazing gift of life and soul transforming Grace He gives us through His death and resurrection!
The first five weeks of Lent all lead up to the most amazing week of them all…Holy Week, which can be a very powerful week of focus on our Lord as we prepare for Easter Sunday. Holy Week happens to be my favorite week of the entire year!!!
Since Lent officially begins on Wednesday, February 22nd, I just had to share some of the ideas that I have found around the internet that are perfect to use with families! We are going to be using many of them with our own family! But in the meantime I thought I would share the links so that you can browse through them and find some that will work for your own family.
This is just a partial list, to be sure, there are so many great ideas out there! I will be sharing more links as I find them over in the Unwrapping His Grace Facebook Community so be sure to “Like” my page so you don’t miss anything! And I would love for you to tell me about the ones you try and you can even share pictures of your family enjoying them, if you would like to share!
Some of the ideas are in blogs that list other Lent activities…but I am only highlighting the ones that I am totally excited about trying with our kids or that I thought you might like to try out.
So here goes! I hope you find some new ways to learn about and celebrate Jesus’ life, death and resurrection during the next six weeks!
I absolutely love this one!!! It is the Agnus Dei Lamb of God wash cloth!!! Isn’t that just precious?! They include video and printable instructions!!! It comes from the website “Making Music – Praying Twice”. Here’s the principle behind the reasoning behind the wash cloth lamb as described on their website…
This activity can help your young child remember this simple fact: We say Jesus is the Lamb of God because He took away our sins by dying on the Cross for us. When we sin, we do things we know God does not want us to do. This makes our souls “dirty” and unfit for Heaven. The Lamb of God takes away our sins so we can be clean again and fit for Heaven! Our Lamb wash cloths can take away the dirt from our bodies at bath time, to help us remember what Jesus did for us.
Now do you see why I love Lenten Devotional activities to use with our children? Love the imagery here!
Another favorite of mine is making homemade pretzels with our children! The tradition of pretzels actually goes back to Lenten traditions. The word “pretzel” is a German word meaning “little arms.” The dough was shaped in such a way to look like two arms crossed in prayer. The RCA website shares a wonderful recipe and the story behind how and why pretzels were commonly made and shared on the first day of Lent, which is known as Ash Wednesday (some churches use ashes to make a small cross on foreheads during a service to remind them that from dust we have come and to dust we shall return–hence the name, Ash Wednesday).
I am going to make homemade pretzels with our children this year and share the story behind them. They LOVE homemade pretzels and this is a great way of sharing more of the story of God’s love and our relationship with Him. I used to use something similar all the time many years ago when I was a youth minister. Kids of all ages, including teens and young children, really get into it! The best part is that this article shows us how to make them from scratch or using frozen bread dough! Now what could be simpler than that?!
Thrivingfamily.com shared some great ideas for Holy Week that can be used for Holy Week, specifically, or you could use some of the ideas at different times throughout Lent in an article called, “Easter Activities and Crafts”. They shared so many wonderful ideas that could be used as is or adapted for your own family. Things like: making a tree from a branch and hanging small pictures of things that represent Jesus- a picture of a lamp representing the Light of the World, a lamb for the Lamb of God and so many others!
I love the idea of emphasizing the fact that Jesus is the Bread of Life and making homemade bread of some kind with our children and making an extra loaf or two to put in a special baskets lined with a pretty dish towel with a special butter and a cute little butter knife, and a small Bible to go with it. These could be taken to someone who is really struggling this year and could use the gift of hope through our Savior, Jesus. When delivering this very special gift, find a time that is good for them so that you can spend time in a short visit celebrating Easter with them and just really listening to them and praying for them.
There are so many ideas out there in blog land to use with our families. I plan to share more ideas for Lent with our children on Unwrapping His Grace Facebook Page and I also pin lots of ideas over on my Bible Devotions/Activities for kids Pinterest Board if you prefer to find them there!
More ideas later this week…
I plan to share some of the ways that I am planning to dig into His Word and find special time for a creative form of prayer for myself during Lent, this year. I would also like to share a special idea for digging into His Word here on Unwrapping His Grace on Sundays during Lent.
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And have you heard about the newest feature of Unwrapping His Grace? We have a new private group on Facebook called “Unwrapping His Grace- Together in Prayer & His Word”. I’d love for you to check out the scoop and consider joining us!
What are some special ways you celebrate Lent in your home? I would love to hear about them be sure to tell me all about it in a comment below so we can all learn from each other!
Be sure to stop by and visit our wonderful February sponsor, Traci Little at Ordinary Inspirations!!! I always come away inspired, blessed by her heart inspiration and amazing photography!
Embracing His Grace,
Then check out the Titus Tuesday Linkup over at Time Warp Wife…I’m linking up!