Simple Ways to Observe Lent as a Family
Five simple Lent and Easter activities for families. Use one (or a few) of these ideas to connect and grow this season.
Easter is just around the corner so maybe you've observed conversations on social media or between friends about the season of Lent. Maybe you're asking, "What is Lent and should I participate in it myself or with my family?"
Whether you grew up celebrating this sacred season or have only recently been introduced to Lent, we want to help you share the beauty of this tradition with your family. We've got a great round up of posts here at Minno on everything you need to know about Lent and Easter. Today, I'm sharing a few simple ways you can participate in Lent (even if you never have before) and invite your children to learn about Jesus as you prepare your hearts to accept his gift of love this Easter season.
1.Lay Something Down / Pick Something Up. While Lent is traditionally observed by sacrificing something dear as a form of penance, you can observe Lent by either laying down a beloved food or activity (such as chocolate, television or time on social media) or picking up a new habit (such as a devotional time or a practice of gratitude). If you plan to observe Lent as a family, consider giving up or adding something new each week during Lent.
Last night at the dinner table, after we discussed the upcoming season, my daughter declared that she wanted to give up chocolate for Lent. I was pleasantly surprised at her enthusiasm and willingness to make the sacrifice. But I knew it would be hard. I encouraged her to pray about it and consider starting by giving up chocolate for one week. I don't want to set her up to fail. The first time we participate in fasting (especially with kids) it's completely appropriate to start small and build up. The important thing is the willingness to alter our lives in an effort to draw closer to Jesus and depend on him for strength. How we do that will vary greatly and is a very personal decision with no right or wrong.
2. Use What's In The Bible to learn about Jesus' life. Volume 10 will walk your family through the Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - where you and your kids can learn about Jesus' life. You can find a summary and talking points for your family in this post to carry the conversation with you throughout the season. You can watch it right here on Minno or grab the DVD in our store.
3. Follow a simple Lent/Easter season family devotional like this one I wrote over at Gather & Grow. It focuses on God's big love and Jesus' sacrifice while teaching kids what it means to follow Jesus and live (and share) the abundant life he offers us. The devotional will teach your family about Lent and help you find ways to observe the season that work for you. Each weekly devotion can take as little as 10 minutes and includes a Bible verse (with printable cards), discussion questions, big take-away and truth in action idea.
4. Use Sense of the Resurrection, from Minno blogger, Amanda. This amazing experience will help your family engage the Easter story bit-by-bit using your five senses. It includes crafts, tastings and memorial making allowing you to get a sense of what the death and resurrection of Jesus must have been like. A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families contains 12 fun, hands-on, easy, meaningful activities to help your kids come face to face with the Easter story.
5. Complete a traditional reading of the Easter story such as this adaptation of the Scriptural Way of the Cross for Kids. Throughout Church history, people used symbols or pictures to explain stories and truths. Traditionally, churches have focused on what is called the “Stations of the Cross” at some point throughout the season of Lent. These “stations” are artistic representations of the Story and are often visible inside churches as paintings, sculptures or stained glass. In an effort to make them more directly linked to biblical text, Pope John Paul II adjusted the stations to The Scriptural Way of the Cross in 1991. Much like you may follow the days of Advent as you count down to Christmas, your family can follow the 14-station Scriptural Way of the Cross, as you prepare your hearts for Easter.
No matter what you choose to do or not do this Lent and Easter season, I hope your family finds simple ways to connect with each other and with Jesus as you reflect on the gift of life he's given us.
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For more Lent & Easter ideas for your family make sure to explore our post: