As I mentioned on Sunday, this is Holy Week and properly a time for quieting down, lingering, waiting with Jesus. The temptation is there to rush through to Easter – especially for those of us hosting friends or family on Sunday, since we do have to plan ahead – but if we let ourselves, this week can be received as such a gift. It’s a chance, briefly, to taste eternal time; to let all the many things that occupy us pale a bit as we let ourselves be swept into these most momentous days of God’s story.
However. Those of us with kids still have lunches to pack, clothes to wash, baskets to fill, not to mention some planning to do as we prepare to usher our children through the transition of Jesus’ final days, his death, and his rising to life.
I can’t pack tomorrow’s lunch for you. (Sorry: I’m a pretty good lunch packer, but it is one of my LEAST FAVORITE chores.) And I can’t help with your laundry, either. (Sorry again: I love getting things clean, but I do so dislike the whole process of putting it all away.) But ideas for a theologically-rich Easter basket? That I can do.
Each year, I try to fill my children’s baskets with things I hope will encourage them to love Jesus more and want to know him better. To let them know that his love for them is the most important thing in their lives. (Also some Peeps, but that’s because I’m a traditionalist even when it involves disgusting over-sugared marshmallows.) In other words: I try to give them theological Easter baskets, Easter baskets that say something about God and why we’re hunting behind the couch for baskets filled with disgusting over-sugared marshmallows anyway.
So from me to you: some ideas for filling the baskets of your own small ones, with love and hope for a blessed week. Tuck one or more of these inside your child’s basket and commit to enjoying it together during the Easter season. Peeps optional.
ADD A FAMILY READ-ALOUD
(especially if you have an older child who wants to stay up just a little later: make some tea and read a little together!)
- ESV Illustrated Family Bible
- Dangerous Journey
- Hero Tales
- Jesus Storybook Bible
- Peril and Peace
- Stories of the Saints
- Wise Words
- Try a missionary biography: Corrie Ten Boom or Eric Liddell
GIVE A DEVOTIONAL BOOK: & HELP YOUR CHILD USE IT!
INCLUDE A CD
- Slugs and Bugs Sing the Bible: we haven’t reviewed this yet, but rest assured – we will. Because trust me, you didn’t know that you needed a song about Deuteronomy 14:21 BUT YOU DO.
- Resurrection Letters: vol. II
- Amy Grant Collection. Because it still stands up, and is super accessible for kids. And it gives you an excuse to sing along to El Shaddai one more time.
- Jim Weiss CDs: these aren’t explicitly theological, but they’re such a treat. If you haven’t discovered Jim Weiss yet, Do It Now. If you have, then you know what I mean.
INVEST IN THE MATERIALS TO TELL THE STORY
(A few Easter stories from Worship Woodworks – you can buy or make the materials, and tell the story throughout the season)
We’ll be quiet here the rest of the week: see you on the other side, when everything is “turned inside out and upside down” (Godly Play) – or, in some of my favorite words, when we find the answer to our question “is everything sad going to come untrue?” (Tolkien) in the empty tomb.