April 9, 2011

Queen of the Castle: Week 13

We're back near the beginning of the book.  We started on week 17 of Queen of the Castle: 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker HERE (in April of 2010).

In this week's chapter, "Easter, Part 1", Lynn shares some memories of Easter's past.  My childhood memories revolved around an Easter basket from the bunny, a big meal, and just a normal, regular Sunday.  It wasn't until I met my husband (then boyfriend) that Easter was more significant in my life.  I came to know and love the Lord and truly understand the meaning of the day.  I've heard variations of it not being a "Happy" Easter.  Jesus died on a cross for us.  Nothing happy about that, right?  Oh but three days later.  There sat an empty tomb with a stone rolled away.   Rejoice, dear ones!  It is a "Happy" day.  The happiest day we could all possibly experience!  For  He is Risen!! 

I'm going out on a limb here sharing this next bit of info with you, but I feel there is such an expectation for parents to do the following that I want ya'll to know that just because grandparents try to guilt you into doing this "one fun thing" so they don't feel deprived doesn't mean you have to.  You can start your own fun traditions that still focus on the meaning.  O.K. .. here goes.  Our family doesn't "do" the Easter Bunny.  We don't "do" Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, either.  Our logic behind it?  If we tell our children that the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and Jesus are all real, even though they can't see them and then when they get older and discover that the first three were just make believe...what are they going to do with Jesus?  I know that loving Jesus and living for Him is more than enjoying and having fun with the EB, SC, and TF (I'm tired of typing them out!), but I'm sure it doesn't help solidify the idea of an unseen Savior being real.  There are plenty of things that can be fun and yet meaningful at the same time.  Ya'll catch my point?

I'll share with you a fun activity that Lynn shares that you can do with your family.  Hide one small item every day beginning with the Saturday before Palm Sunday (the 16th this year).  (We have 5 or 6 that will want to find items so I'll probably hide that many.) The hidden items correspond with the story of Easter week.  That evening read aloud the portion of Scripture that correlates with what you've hidden.  Then set the kids loose for the hunt.  After each evening's search, place the found objects in a basket that sits in the middle of the table (I'll put ours on the piano.).  Leave the basket out all week to remind you of the Easter story.

Here's the plan...

Day 1 -- Saturday before Palm Sunday
Reading:  John 12:1-11
Topic: Mary anointing Jesus' feet
Item to hide: bottle of scented oil or perfume

Day 2 -- Palm Sunday
Reading:  Luke 19:28-40; John 12:13
Topic:  Jesus' entry into Jerusalem
Items: palm branch, doll clothes, or a donkey

Day 3 -- Tuesday
Reading:   Mark 11:11-26
Topic: fig tree and money changers in the temple
Items:  coins, fig branch (any tree branch will do)

Day 4 -- Tuesday
Reading: Matthew 24:36-44; 26:64
Topic:  Jesus' teaching on the Second Coming
Items:  hourglass, cloud (cut from paper or felt)

Day 5 -- Wednesday
Reading: Matthew 26:1-16
Topic: woman anoints Jesus' head; Judas' plot
Items: scented oil or perfume, silver dollars

Day 6 -- Thursday
Reading: John 13:1-17; Matthew 26: 17-56
Topic:  foot washing; Last Supper; Garden of Gethsemane; betrayel
Items: towel, bread, a kiss (wear lipstick and kiss a piece of paper), sword

Day 7 -- Good Friday
Reading:  Luke 22:54-71; 23:13-25, 32-43
Topic:  the crucifixion
Items: crown of thorns (we will use a small grapevine wreath), nail, cross

Day 8 -- Saturday
Reading: Matthew 27:57-66; Isaiah 53:1-7
Topic: prophecy and guards at the tomb
Items: white cloth, sealing wax, lamb

Day 9 -- Easter Sunday
Reading: Matthew 28:1-15; Luke 24:1-49
Topic: Resurrection, soldiers paid off, disciples met on the road to Emmaus, breaking bread
Items: empty basket, line it with cloth, then put in silver coins, a pictures of an angel, and bread.  Do this after the kids are in bed Saturday night.  (For the best impact try to do this activity before heading off to church!)

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We spend so much time during the month of December on remembering Jesus' birth, let's try to spend a good amount of time remembering His death, burial, and resurrection.

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"You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ."  1 Peter 1:18-19

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