Thank you for continuing on this Lenten journey with us! In this week's email you will find the Week One devotion as printed in the Lenten Devotional booklet. You will also find a couple of great activities and a prayer you can use to further the discussion of Lent and build faith together.
If you wish to pick up a printed copy of this devotional, it can be found at the Welcome Center outside of the Sanctuary throughout the season of Lent.
Because of Jesus
A Lent and Easter Season Devotional for Families
Bible study doesn't have to be complicated to be effective. This devotional follows a "Five and Thrive" method to make family devotions easy. These five "seeds" can take as little as five minutes and fit easily into your busy schedule. Simple faith seeds, planted and cultivated over time, will grow into a beautiful family faith that thrives.
Our Lent and Easter season devotional follows this quick outline which you can use at the dinner table, first thing in the morning, at bedtime, or in the car when you are on the go. It is meant to fit into your busy lifestyle. I will send email reminders each week with additional activities that will build upon the theme for the week's devotion.
P - PREPARE your heart
(put away distractions, gather, pray, consider the topic you'll explore)
L - LEARN from the Word
(read the Bible verse and a bit about its meaning)
A - ASK questions
(discuss the verse and faith concept together as a family)
N - NAME the truth
(discover the truth God wants you to take away)
T - TAKE action
(think of ways you can put God's truth into action)
WEEK 1 - JESUS COMES
PREPARE - Let's talk about God's love for us.
LEARN - May you understand because of Jesus, God's love for you is BIG! Ephesians 3:18 (adapted)
Remember when Adam and Eve first sinned in the garden? Their disobedience separated them (and all people that came after) from God. But God loves his children too much to be apart from us. So he sent his son, Jesus, to die in our place as a sacrifice for our sins. We'll talk more about Jesus' sacrifice in the next few weeks. For now, let's pause and think about how much God must love us. He sent his son to show us his big love in real life.
- Why did Jesus come to Earth?
- What are some ways we feel God's love through Jesus?
- How can understanding God's big love change the way we act and treat others?
NAME the truth - Jesus came to show us God's love.
TAKE action - Use a piece of construction paper to cut out a big heart. Decorate the heart and write on it, "God's Love for Me is BIG!" Hang your heart in a place you will see it everyday. Each time you look at it, let it remind you to share God's big love with others.
- Mosaic Cross - Cut out a large cardboard cross and many squares of colored paper. During Lent, whenever a family member does a good deed or makes a sacrifice, he or she glues a square to the cross. Try to cover the cross by Easter.
- Show God's Love - Show God's love by vising an elderly friend or relative who does not get a lot of visitors.
- Make homemade pretzels - Pretzels had their origin in early Christian Lenten practices. Because fat, eggs, and milk were forbidden during Lent, a special bead was made with dough consisting of only flour, salt, and water. These little breads were shaped in the form of arms crossed in prayer. Choose one night in Lent to make pretzels.
- Collect change - This Sunday and Wednesday we will be giving kids the traditional fish banks for One Great Hour of Sharing. Use these throughout Lent to collect change to donate to this Presbyterian ministry. *They will be collected on May 19th*
- Focus on Prayer - Take time to talk about prayer this week. It is our way of talking to God, sharing our hearts with Him, and asking for his help. I will include a prayer each week that you can use, but remember there is no "right" way to talk to God. Simply speak from your heart and He will listen.
Thank you for your son, Jesus. Thank you for his life. Thank you that he shows us how to be connected to you.
Help me to learn how to be alone with you, to talk to you, to laugh with you, to cry with you, to question with you, to grow with you.
Bless me with time, space, and ability to come to you with my joys and sorrows each week.
Adapted for Westminster families by Tiffany Hays, Director of Children's Christian Education, 2018.
Distributed with permission from Jess Wolstenholm, original author, from gatherandgrow.co.