"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back."
Easter egg hunts. Getting a picture taken with the Easter bunny. Getting ready for chocolate candy. Buying new spring clothes. Chances are these are the responses most children would give if asked how they were preparing for Easter.
Remind the children that Easter is really about the sacrifice Jesus made for each one of us. His resurrection breaks the power of death. Explain that the month of March is part of the season of Lent, according to the Christian calendar. Lent is a time when we Christians are to examine our lives and to pray for the forgiveness of our sins. Ask the children what they can give up as a way of thanking Jesus for giving up his life for us. Perhaps they will set aside all or part of their allowance and contribute it to a local mission. Maybe they will prefer to go through their clothes and toys, choose some items that are in good condition but no longer needed, and donate them to a family outreach center. Children might decide to give up some of their personal time and use this time to volunteer at a soup kitchen or a nursing home. Perhaps they will choose to give up watching a TV show and instead spend that time praying for others.
Remind the children to pray for God's help as they participate in this project. Check with the children throughout Lent to ask what they are learning from their experience. Encourage children to journal or to draw pictures that will help them remember what they are learning. Tell them that it is impossible to out give God and that God will bless their efforts.
Use this activity to remind the children how very blessed they are. God is pleased when we share our blessings with others.
Questions for Discussion
- What did you learn from your experience?
- What are other ways you can thank Jesus for his sacrifice?
- God has blessed us with so much. Can you think of a particular blessing in your life for which you are thankful?
- What blessings can you share with others?