Friday, May 20, 2011

New Clothes.

'I delight  greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bride groom adorns his head like a priest and as a bride adores herself with jewels.'

Isaiah 61:10

Buying new clothes for Easter is a tradition that has faded rather but it is an old one.  I imagine in the days when new clothes were more of  a treat and only brought once or twice a year the symbolism of new clothes for Easter was  more significant. Nowadays, when we can spend any Saturday morning buying cheap clothing at a mall or shopping centre, the sense of celebration is lost on us.

New clothes represent the new life that Christ has won for us, we  discard the shabby clothes of our old life and dress in the fresh, bright, best clothes of celebration.

'But the father said to his servants,'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put  a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.'

Luke 15:22

Last week I took the boys shopping. The climate in Cebu means that we wear the same clothes all the time, the children also do not wear school uniform and  their clothes look exhausted before too long. It really was time to buy something new. Neither the boys or I are great shoppers but the mall was quiet first thing and it is air conditioned, we stopped for a coffee for me and an iced chocolate for them and it was fun! A mini celebration and a reminder of how every day events can become festive occasions that demonstrate newness and just how full our transformed lives are.

 'Therefore........cloth yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience'
Colossians 3:12-14.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Station 5 - By the Lake.

Well, we could not manage a lake but we did manage a campfire, and we didn't cook fish , only toasted marshmallows. But it was a lovely way to finish the day and our Stations of the Resurrection. The reading was John 20.1-14 and I read it as we sat around the fire. Fire has a special significance at Easter - it represents the light of Christ resurrected on Easter morning. In some European countries Easter morning is welcomed in, after the nights vigil, with huge bonfires lit at dawn. As the light begins to spread the shout goes up 'The light of Christ' and the answer 'Thanks be to God'!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Station 4 - The Road to Emmaus

Yesterday we did an Emmaus Walk together, of sorts. I was really stuck trying to find a game or activity that fitted with the story and our schedule for the day. I was suddenly inspired to combine our story telling with walking the dog! It was not  exactly a quietly meditative walk in beautiful surroundings - not possible with two boys and in Cebu City there are few beautiful places to walk. But , we do know of a quiet, traffic free road in housing sub division where we often take the dog. So, yesterday evening , once the temperatures had dropped a bit, we went all together. The boys took gloves and a baseball to practice catching as they walked  and we re told the story of Jesus meeting His friends on the road to Emmaus ( Luke 24.13-25). The kids knew the story well already and my husband and I filled in a few details from time to time. We decided that it would have taken them about 6 hours to walk 7 miles at the pace we were walking and about an hour to run all the way back to Jerusalem, depending on how fit they were and how fast they ran!

My daughter and I had an interesting discussion on whether there were times in our lives when we had not, or might not recognised Jesus walking as our companion along the way.

Easter Listening and Reading.

Last weekend we went to the beach for a couple of days , as usual on a long car journey we listened to an audio book. On this trip we listened to The Lion , the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis read by Michael York . It is an excellent rendition - he read wells and gives the characters of Narnia a variety of accents. I don't need to review this story here - it is so well known , we enjoyed listening to it despite having read it and seen the film.

I  like collecting and reading  books relating to the season , we have plenty of Advent and Christmas books but not many Easter books apart from a few pictures books from when the children were younger.


Lois Rock
Best Price £0.01
or Buy New £5.05
We also have a beautifully illustrated copy of Sidney Carter's 'Lord of the Dance' . All these books are still read but I would appreciate reccommendations of books with an Easter theme , especially for older children.

What do you read at Easter?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Station 2 - The Meeting in the Garden.

'I have seen the Lord'!

John 20. 18

We  have finished our tomb and planted some seeds in small pots around it to represent the garden where  Mary met the Lord. The kids enjoyed doing this project and it looks great , I think.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Station 1 - The tomb

Our verse for this week:

'I am the resurrection and the life' John 11 v 25

  We made a cave shape from  a small cardboard box and painted it black inside and grey on the outside. Then we stuck garden pebbles all over using a hot glue gun. The next step is to finish putting pebbles on ( we ran out of hot glue!)  and make the garden. I am having problems posting photos but will try and sort that out and post some as soon as possible!

I came across this link for the Stations of the Resurrection called Via Lucia - The Way of Light at Catholic Icing. It has a version for children with simple prayers.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Stations of the Resurrection.

In Living Easter Through the Year  the author,  John Pritchard suggests a devotion called the Stations of the Resurrection. It is similar to the The Stations of the Cross which is commonly done on Good Friday or sometime during the last week of Lent but focuses  instead on resurrection readings from the gospels. I decided  I would like to try and adapt John Pritchards devotions  for using with children and make them the focus of one week during Easter.
At the moment, here in Cebu, schools are on summer break and so after Easter Sunday I found myself preoccupied with  sports clinics, sleepovers and various other child related social commitments. Next week, however, is surprisingly clear and I plan to do one station a day with the children each morning , which I hope will bring us back to the central focus of this season.

This is what I think is will look like :

Station 1:  At the Tomb. 
Reading Luke 24:1-12.
We will then make  a model of the empty tomb.

Station 2. At the Easter Garden- The first meeting.
Reading John 20:1-18
We will do some gardening and planting.

Station 3. The Upper Room.
Reading. John 20.19-29
We will either play a game of hide and seek or game involving treasure behind a locked door.

Station 4. The Road to Emmaus.
Reading. Luke 24.13-35
We will probably play some sort of travelling game but I have not quite worked that out yet!

Station 5. By the Lake.
Reading. John 21. 1-14
We will toast marshmallows over a camp fire.

Station 6. The message of Resurrection.
reading 1 Corinthians 15.1-11
Not sure what to do for an activity - maybe a craft? Any suggestions welcome!

Station 7 Christ for the World.
 Reading. Matthew 28. 16-20.
We will look at a globe and do some research on how many Jesus followers  there are around the world and how many people have yet to know Him.

I plan to use the prayers from John Pritchards book although I may simplify the words slightly. I will keep you posted on how our week goes!