The following is the seventh installment in a weekly Lenten devotional for families, by Mary Jane Pierce Norton of the UMC’s Discipleship Ministries. We hope it helps you to know God a little better during these solemn forty days of repentance and preparation.
Week 6 – Week of April 9: The Meaning of the Resurrection
Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66
Discussion & Activity: Read together Matthew 21:1-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66. This week – Holy Week – we are in the midst of remembering Jesus’ death. You may actually want to start the week reading the first passage from Matthew, then reading the second passage, dividing it up for the rest of the week, ending with Matthew 28:1-20 on Easter Sunday.
Hold the egg in your hand. Think about how within the egg, there is life, but from the outside we don’t always see it. Name other things you see that hold life, but don’t seem to do so just by appearance. Think about plant bulbs, or bare tree limbs.
While we remember Jesus’ death, we also prepare to celebrate his new life. After being so sad about Jesus’ death, we learn that he is alive, and this fills us with joy! Ask each person in the family to tell of one thing about Easter that makes him or her happy. After each person says what makes him or her happy about Easter; respond by saying “Alleluia!”
Decorate Easter eggs together. We use eggs as a symbol of the new life we have because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Make a list of other things that help us remember new life.
God, as we remember Jesus’ last week, remind us that through bad times and good times, you are with us.
Help us notice the suffering in the world around us. Help us find ways to offer the blessings of Easter to those we can who are in need in our community.
Don’t let us skip too quickly over the suffering just to get to the happiness of Easter.
Remind us that you are there for us in both bad times and good times. Amen.