The story of Easter blows my mind and when I try to explain it to my children my head starts to spiral - because the story of Easter lies beyond the comprehensible. We can’t rely on logic, reasoning, intelligence. Because none of it makes sense. And the more we try to make it fit into our one dimensional experience of the world, the closer we get to the tip of the rabbit hole. So how do we help our children ‘understand His story’ without limiting its wonder?
We need to provide an environment within which our children can experience what it is to be known and loved by Jesus. To understand what sin looks like, and the distance it put between us and God. That the Jesus that walked the earth, who cried, who felt pain, was the same Jesus that died in the most brutal way possible so that he could have a relationship with us. We need to make it relevant to them. And they need to understand redemption.
How do we even begin to do this?
Make it practical
Show them what sin does! I am a big fan of the age old demo involving bleach, water and food colouring. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z_SMrnEiaI Showing children what sin does to our lives. Teaching them that we can’t fix it on our own. That we need Jesus. Teaching them what redemption looks like. What Jesus actually meant when he said “It is Finished” and what that means for them.
Make it sensory
I am also a big fan of words, and the story of Easter conjures up some corkers!
Love, Relationship, Hope, Redemption, Forgiveness
Encouraging children to embody the words that are at the bedrock of the Easter story not only helps them to understand their meaning, but gives them weight as they engage with them in a personal and meaningful way. This can be done individually, or as tableaux in groups, and can be made in to a game, or a movement piece to music.
Check out our Easter story jar craft for some ideas.
Make it reflective
Children need space to solidify what they have learnt and begin to hear Jesus for themselves. Learning to hear God in the stillness is a skill, and one I feel is really important for children to learn. Maybe put on a really gentle piece of worship music and surround the room with paper, pens, fabrics, bubbles.
Explain to the children that the only rule is that they are silent, and respectful of everyone else. Set the clock for 10 minutes and encourage children to use the first 2 minutes to sit/lie and just ‘listen’. Then encourage them to draw a picture God has given them, move with some fabric, blow bubbles and talk to Jesus.
How is this ‘all age’? Do this with them; share in their experience as they encounter the most relevant, unshakeable, greatest love story ever told!