Aim: To teach the children about Lent. Introduction: Originally Lent was a time of fasting which lasted 40 days, in the month leading up to Easter. Shrove Tuesday marks the beginning of Lent when perishable foods like eggs were used up - for making of pancakes. Now people give up things for Lent The word lent’ does not appear in the Bible, but fasting is talked about. Taken from the BB Junior Pro Pack S-2-8
Activity 3 only
• Jesus’ prepares for Easter template
Activity 1 - What Is Lent ?
To think about what we know of Lent and to find out what it is based on. To make the point that it is not something talked about in the Bible but a way in which we have followed Jesus’ wilderness fasting and how it can prepare us for Easter.
• Read through the passages
• Use some personal stories if any leaders have given up things for Lent. Instructions:
• What is Lent?
• Has anyone heard of it and does anyone know what it means?
• Lent is simply the time before Easter when people choose to prepare their heart and mind for all that Easter means.
• People have based it on the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting and praying and being tempted by the devil. Read Matthew 4:2
• So people have chosen to make Lent a time of 40 days for fasting and prayer to think about all that Jesus gave up for us on the cross and how He rose again on the third day — which is what we remember at Easter.
• A lot of people chose to give up something that is personally important to them for Lent (which is like making a personal sacrifice). This will remind them of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
Some people give up things like:
• eating meat
• Fizzy drinks
They give up something that they will miss so that they have time to think about the things they do that are wrong, the things that would upset God (sins). This is an important time to time to think how we can help others more and be more obedient to God.
• So lent starts on Ash Wednesday and goes all the way to Easter.
• What is Ash Wednesday?
• In Bible times, people who repented of their sins - asked Gods forgiveness for all the bad things that they had done - sometimes wore sackcloth (which is a kind of rough, scratchy cloth like they make sacks from) and smeared themselves with ashes. Jesus talked about this being a way of showing being sorry for sins. (you could read Matthew 11:21 and Luke 10:13)
• Lent is not something that is talked about in the Bible, but is something that people have used to bring them closer to God and to prepare for Easter.
• Easter is when we celebrate the last days of Jesus life on earth and the events that happened to Him.
Important days in the last week are:
Maundy Thursday - the last supper.
Good Friday - the crucifixion.
Easter Sunday — Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples.
You could do a quiz to see how much the children have remembered.
• How long is Lent?
• Why do people celebrate Lent?
• What do people do to cerebrate Lent?
• What would you give up?
• What is sackcloth?
• Why do we celebrate Easter?
Activity 2 - How Did Jesus Prepare For Easter ?
To think about what Easter meant to Jesus and how he prepared for it.
• Lent is the time just before Easter. These are words that we have given to before, during and after Jesus’ death.
• Jesus and His disciples did not use the words Easter and Lent it is only after these things became known to others and Christians began celebrating the things that had happened that we named them.
• We like to give things names don’t we — we have names, our pets have names and where we live has a name. Different times have a name so we named the time Lent and Easter.
• Jesus was prepared for Easter even before He was born, because it was God’s plan that Jesus would save us by dying on the cross. So He was prepared for it before the earth was even created.
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The Bible talks of Jesus as the Word — He was with God in the beginning, through Him all things were made and in Him is life — the light to all men.
It can be complicated but we need to see that Jesus is pan of God and a very big pan of God’s big plan for us,
Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen. He told His disciples what was going to happen to Him but they did not listen and did not believe that He would be killed!
• Jesus told the disciples that He would have to die.
• He then told them that He would be raise up on the third day.
• He also told them what they had to do when He returned to be with God in Heaven.
• He also prepared Himself by praying to God His Father.
So that is how Jesus prepared Himself for Easter and that is why some people do something to prepare themselves for that time when we celebrate Easter.
Ask the children to think of ways in which they could prepare for Easter. Not by buying eggs and chocolate, but by thinking about what Jesus did for each of us.
Activity 3 - Jesus Prepares For Easter Worksheet
To use the worksheet to prompt memory of what you have learnt about Lent.
• Give each child a template.
• There are nine discs on the sheet in the wrong order of events of Jesus preparing for Easter.
• They need to cut out the discs and put them in the right order and then stick them onto another piece of paper in any way they like, but in the right order.
• Once you have checked that they have them in the right order they can stick them onto their sheets.
For full details see the BB Junior Pro Pack S2-8