It’s the time of the year when pastel-colored eggs, bunny rabbits and chocolate in various forms take over huge sections of Targets, Walmarts and pharmacies across the country.
As clever marketers would like us to think, spring is in the air and it’s time to buy our kids candy and new clothes. A stuffed animal wouldn’t hurt either. Not to mention a basket, confetti, eggs, etc. What would a holiday be without accessories?
But those things things don’t have anything to do with Christ, and so this year our family has been doing something I’d like to become a yearly tradition.
I’m indebted for this idea to the Director of Children’s Ministry at Discipleship International in Atlanta.
Instead of hunting for eggs, she teaches kids several stories Jesus taught about finding things. So they look for a lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7), lost coins (Luke 15:8-10), pearls of great price (Matthew 13:45-46), etc.
And this year, in anticipation of my kids participating in this hunt, we’ve be going through a few parables to get them ready.
First we read “The Lost Sheep,” a playful, kid-appropriate version of the parable in “Favorite Parables From the Bible: Stories Jesus Told” by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen. It’s all about how God loves sinners so much that He leaves the people who are doing alright to search for the one who is in trouble and rejoices when He finds them.
Then I brought out a sheep costume and convinced my boys to take turns wearing it and hiding. The rest of us could be the farmer and go and find him.
To be honest, it bombed. The boys did not want to wear the sheep costume, and after the time I had put into making it, I was pretty devastated. But all was not lost. They wanted me to wear it and hide. It was more fun being the farmer than being the sheep!
Here are a few pics.
Rescued by his father! (The sheep carried on his shoulders in keeping with the parable)
My more reluctant sheep.
And, to be totally fair to my boys, here is one of me also:
(OK, that was embarrassing.) Moving on.
The second parable-activity was way more popular. First we read the parable of the lost coin. The meaning illustrates the same point as the first story: God searches for the person who is lost and rejoices when He finds them. We gave each boy a dust broom, dust pan and flashlight (all Dollar Tree finds).
We turned off the lights in the house and then they each had to go into a specific room and find their gold chocolate coins. To be more biblical, the coins should have been silver — but the boys didn’t mind a bit.
Sorry, no pictures from the first go-round (mom and dad were trying to remember where all the coins were hidden so we could help the kids!).
But for the last week, the boys have been asking to play this again and again. They ate the chocolate, but pennies were a welcome substitute!
We have two more parables to go, and I hope the kids get as much out of them as the first two.