Monday, April 10, 2006
Easter for Stephanie
This post is really in response to my new blogging friend Stephanie's need for a Sharing Time. You can read about her frustrating experience here. So, here are a couple ideas. They would also be good for Family Night.
Not About the Bunny Story
(This came from Kathy Moyer, one of the best nursery leaders ever. I don't know her source.)
One spring morning, Mother Rabbit overheard her little bunny bragging to his friends about how important Easter was. He was telling them that everywhere he went he saw children and adults getting ready for Easter. "It's the time when people really celebrate how important the "Easter Bunny" really is. Everyone looks forward to his visit and that's what Easter is all about!", she heard him say. He went on to describe candies and treats and all the fun it was to be a part of the Easter egg hunts that were so much a part of the Easter celebration in his town.
Mother rabbit went outside and gathered her little bunny and his friends together and told them, Easter egg hunts, getting Easter treats and all of that is fun, but it is not at all what Easter is about. Easter is a very wonderful time of year, indeed. It is a time we should all know about and should take the time to be grateful for what really took place many, many years ago. (This next part would be a good place to use some appropriate pictures from the gospel art picture kit)
Easter is all about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for each of us when He died on the cross that we might live. It is a part of a plan that Heavenly Father had. Jesus taught people about God. He healed the sick and he helped people everywhere. People followed Him and wanted to learn more. Some people were very jealous of Him. They did not want others to listen to His words. They decided to kill Him. It was a very sad time when He was taken and crucified on the cross when He had never done anything wrong. His friends cried and were very sad. He was put in a tomb and His friends put a very large rock in front of the opening. In the early morning, when Jesus' friend, Mary, came to the tomb, she saw the stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty! She was surprised and very sad. When she walked into the cave she saw two angels who told her, "Jesus is no longer dead! He is alive! He has risen!" A little while later, Mary heard someone talk to her. She turned and saw Jesus! She was so happy. Jesus had risen from the dead. She went and told His friends and they all rejoiced and celebrated. It was just as Jesus had told them it would be. This is what Easter is all about, Jesus' sacrifice for us and His resurrection from the dead. We must never forget and we must tell others who do not understand.
Bunny and his friends were excited! At last they knew the real meaning of Easter.
All of a sudden, Bunny ran across the garden path and jumped into a flower pot, burying his head from his mom and his friends. Mother rabbit went over and pulled him from the pot. He was blushing and had his eyes turned away. "I'm so ashamed that I got the story wrong! I though Easter was a celebration of games, gifts and candy. I thought it was all about the Easter Bunny!" he cried. Mother Rabbit hugged him and said, "Easter is a time of joy and celebration. It is fun to play games, receive gifts, and enjoy Easter candy with your friends. But, if you always remember to put Jesus first in your life and if you remember what it was that He did for us, then you have learned a very important lesson. Now when you tell others about Easter, you can let them know the real meaning of this special holiday!"
Resurrection Rolls (I don't remember where I got this and have never actually tried it)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Give each child a triangle of crescent rolls. The Crescent roll represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in.
Give each a child a marshmallow to represent Jesus' body.
Have them dip the marshmallow in melted butter, representing the embalming oils.
Then dip the buttered marshmallow in cinnamon sugar, representing the spices used to anoint the body.
Then wrap the marshmallow tightly in the crescent roll dough. Not rolled like a typical crescent roll, but sealed in. This represents the wrapping of Jesus' body after his death.
Bake in oven for 10 to 12 min. The oven represents the tomb...Pretend that it takes 3 days! This would be a good time for singing time.
When the rolls have cooled slightly, the children can open their rolls (cloth) and discover that Jesus is no longer there, HE IS RISEN!! (The marshmallow melts and the crescent roll is puffed up, but empty.)
Good luck, Stephanie!