Due to the fact that we are unable to meet in person, I would like to invite you and your family to join me in continuing our children’s lessons with our families at home. Below you will find a lesson that I have curated that will continue what your kids have been learning during Sunday school. I know this is different than we are used to but I think this will allow both you and your kids a great chance to bond over the scripture they are learning. I will continue to update this page weekly for as long as needed. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Did You Know?
In this section, you will find helpful information about today’s Easter story. Go ahead and read it to help you better teach this lesson. Following the “Did you know” section, you will see a lesson summary for the kids and an activity. You will notice that some words are in bold. I have bolded words in order to guide and help you in facilitating conversation with your kids. You simply read the sections in bold to your children. The rest are instructions to help guide you through this lesson.
Luke is a great storyteller. A Gentile convert and a friend of Paul, he wasn’t an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry, but he took great care in researching and writing his Gospel. Luke’s version of the Resurrection involves a fascinating array of emotions: sadness, despair, astonishment, wild hope, disbelief, terror, and joy. Mark ends with the women’s fear and amazement, and John provides a full dialogue between Jesus and Mary at the tomb. Luke gives us a story full of intriguing, open questions, much like the empty tomb itself.
Our assigned text, Luke 24:1-12, ends with Peter’s run to the tomb to verify the women’s story. The rest of this chapter of Luke describes three post Resurrection appearances, which are included in the Games and Storytelling/Drama Rotation Stations, as an additional story to share with the children if you wish. You may choose to stick with the assigned text or carry your narrative into these witnesses to the Resurrection. Some themes you’ll find in this rotation include:
• spiritual emptiness and fullness
• the joy of a miracle
• transformation and new life
• God’s love which moves obstacles
• becoming one who tells the good news
Each rotation will conclude with the opportunity to “witness” one another’s experiences or opinions during worship. As the children speak, hear, and trust one another to tell the truth, they will be practicing the spiritual discipline of witnessing to God’s life-giving love.
Wows, Pows, and Holy Cows
Every Sunday, I lead the kids through a moment we call “Wows, Pows, and Holy Cows.” This is a time where they each have a chance to share their joys, frustrations, and God moments from the past week with the rest of the class. I invite you to continue this tradition with your children before you begin the lesson with them. Doing so not only gives them a chance to share, it also allows them to process the events of the past week with you. In an irregular time, like the one we are currently in, it is important to listen to your children and give them a safe place to process their feelings with you. When you get to the “Holy Cow” moment, try to help your children see where God is working through this strange time. Perhaps you can show them pictures or videos of people helping out those in need or remind them of a kindness you saw this week.
Wows – Something that was positive that happened this week.
Pows – Something that was not your favorite from this week.
Holy Cows – A moment from this last week that reminded you about God.
SAY: Today’s Bible story begins in sadness and ends in amazement and joy. Listen to the way the feelings of the Jesus’ friends change during the story.
Tell the children the following story:
Our story begins early on a sad morning. The sky was still black. A damp mist lay over the ground, so thick that you could barely see the group of women who walked together—quietly and slowly. Maybe they walked slowly because of the fog, or maybe because their eyes were misted with
tears. The friends were mourning because their beloved friend, Jesus, had died.
Two days earlier, powerful, fearful people had put him to death. His body had been wrapped in a sheet and laid in a tomb carved from the rock. A heavy stone had been rolled in front of the opening. Yesterday, their Sabbath day of rest, had been filled with sadness and grief. Now, in the darkness of this early Sunday morning, the friends were going to do the only thing they could think of that might make them feel even a tiny bit better: they were going to wrap Jesus’ body in the traditional spices and ointments, so he could have a proper burial. The women carried small bundles. Mary Magdalene carried aloe, a sweet-smelling plant to wrap
into the folds of the sheet; the other Mary carried myrrh, an oil to rub on Jesus’ body; and Joanna carried balsam with a piney fragrance. Their friends carried other spices and fragrant oils, and a long linen cloth for wrapping all these gifts around the body of Jesus.
As they neared the cemetery, the women wondered: would they be able to move the heavy stone that sealed the entrance to the tomb? It was so big. They would have to push with all their might. But they were strong, and they believed they could do it. The path led the women up behind the hillside, and then curved around to the front of the tomb.
And there—Mary gasped.
“What?” whispered Mary Magdalene.
“Look!” said Mary. “The stone has been rolled away! Someone has been here already!“
It was true. By now there was just enough light to see the stone, where it lay on the ground. Beside it, the tomb was open and dark.
The friends were uneasy. This wasn’t right: who would have come to the tomb before them? Should they be afraid? But these friends had come to take care of Jesus’ body, and they were not going to be scared away.
“Be careful,” said Joanna.
“Come on now. Let’s all go look together,” said Mary.
Together, they tiptoed to the tomb.
Together, they looked inside.
“The tomb is empty! Who has taken Jesus away from us?” asked Mary Magdalene.
Tears sprang to their eyes. But then something very strange happened. Suddenly, a soft light shone behind them. The friends turned and saw two figures, like men or angels, who stood before them in robes that gleamed in the darkness. The women were terrified! They dropped their precious parcels and fell on their knees, their faces to the ground. Mary reached for Joanna’s hand, and Joanna reached for Mary Magdalene’s. Then one of the men spoke. His voice was not scary. It was gentle. The women quit shaking.
They listened. He asked them a question:
“Why are you looking for a living person here in the graveyard? Jesus isn’t here. He has been raised from the dead!”
“Remember!” said the other man. “Jesus told you all this while he was still in Galilee—that he would die, but be raised on the third day.”
And then the men vanished!
“It’s the third day!” whispered Mary Magdalene. “Yes, he said that. I remember.”
“I didn’t believe it,” said Joanna.
“Because it is unbelievable!” Mary explained. “But, maybe it happened. He’s not here.”
“Let’s go tell the disciples!” said Mary Magdalene. “I want to run!”
“I don’t. I’m so amazed I can hardly stand up,” said Joanna.
Mary said, “We need to stay together. Pick up these bundles. Come on, Joanna, I’ll help you!”
“The others will never believe us,” warned Mary Magdalene.
“I’m not sure I believe us,” said Joanna.
But the women returned to Jerusalem, found the disciples, and told them what had happened.
Sure enough, the disciples didn’t believe them. But then again, they didn’t not believe them! Peter ran straight to the tomb, and he, too, saw it was empty. All he saw was the linen cloth that had once covered Jesus’ body. Peter went back, puzzled. What had happened? When he came back to the house, all the women and the disciples were there. Nobody knew what
to think. Where was Jesus? If he was truly alive again—it was a miracle beyond their wildest dreams! Or were they just too hopeful? They didn’t know how to feel. They didn’t know what to say. They didn’t know what to think. So there they were! But Jesus was alive. And before long, he came to them. You’ll hear that story, too. But for now—Jesus’ friends just had to wait and wonder, and trust that the angels were telling the truth.
WELOME BANNER WITH SPICE PAINT
Supplies: paint base ingredients (water, flour, cornstarch), small bowls, a variety of powdered spices for color (tumeric for gold; chili and paprika for red; ginger for yellow; nutmeg, clove and cinnamon for browns; thyme for green), mural paper(or printer paper if you dont have large sheets of paper), paintbrushes, smocks, whisks or forks
Before you begin: Arrange materials on trays for easier clean-up.
SAY: When Mary and Mary Magdalene and Joanna and their friends came running back from the tomb, they still had their spices!
ASK: What were they going to use the spices for? What could they do with them instead?
SAY: If you’ve been to the cooking station, you know they could use some to cook a celebration mmeal.
ASK: How else could they celebrate with the spices, so that the living Jesus could enjoy them?
Encourage children to think creatively. After each child has had a chance to share, introduce the art activity.
ASK: What if we made a Welcome Back Jesus banner for the party? Let’s go look at our materials. Look at these colorful spices! Could we make paints with them? What color would each spice make, do you think? What shall we put on the banner to welcome Jesus?
SAY: Let’s put on our smocks and get to work!
Encourage the children put on their smocks and work together to make small bowls of spice paint by following these directions:
- In a small bowl, mix together ¼ cup water, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Use a fork or whisk to stir the mixture until there are no lumps.
- Add 1 tablespoon of spice to the mixture. Whisk or stir the mixture with a fork until smooth.
• When the children have created all the paints, invite them to paint words and images that welcome Jesus on a length of mural paper to create a banner.
• Hang the banner in your space to dry.
Supplies: hardboiled eggs, dye pellets, vinegar, bowls, heavy card stock or watercolor paper for each child, glue, paintbrushes, waxed paper, paper plates, napkins
Before you start: Boil eggs (two per child).
ASK: Why do we color eggs at Easter?
SAY: Yes, an egg has to do with new life, because baby chicks hatch from eggs.
ASK: How does the little chick get out of the egg?
SAY: Yes—it pecks its way out. First the shell protects the chick and keeps it alive. Then, when it is time for the chick to hatch, the shell has absolutely got to go.
ASK: Why must the shell get out of the way?
SAY: Yes! Because the only thing that will keep the chick alive is destroying the shell that once protected its life!
ASK: What do you think of that? Can you say it in your own words?
SAY: People go through this same process, though we have no visible shells. There may be something that really keeps us sheltered and safe and alive—but growing up means letting that small safety fall away. ASK: Can you think of anything that is like that? (examples may include letting go of a childhood habit, leaving a familiar school to start a new one, changing your mind to accept people who aren’t like you, and so forth)
SAY: Today we are going to do an art piece with eggshells. First, we are going to take these eggs and dye them. They’ll be beautiful. But then, we are going to break apart the shells and make something new with them—a colorful mosaic.
• Let children dye their eggs. While the eggs are drying, have children paint their card stock lightly with the leftover egg dyes.
• Then ask the children to carefully crack their eggs, breaking the shells into little pieces. Put all the pieces in the center of the table so children can share the colors and shapes.
• Reserve the eggs in a bowl for a snack.
• Have the children glue the colorful eggshells to their card stock, creating a pattern if they wish, or just a random image.
• While the mosaics dry, enjoy a hardboiled egg snack together.
ASK: How is your eggshell mosaic like a picture of the tomb after the Resurrection?
SAY: Yes, it shows the leftovers after a big transformation. The chick bursting out of its shell is like Jesus bursting out of the tomb. The empty tomb and the broken shell are left behind. The real life is somewhere else, and a little hard to pin down. But we can look at our eggshell mosaic and remember that new life is all around us.
SAY: Today you helped make a beautiful piece of art that has something to do with the empty tomb and the Resurrection.
ASK: Sometimes art helps us learn something or say something that words can’t quite communicate. If that is true for you, please show us what was special for you in the art today. You can say something about it if you want, or just show us.
SAY: God’s love is alive in you when you create. Creative energy is one way we feel the power of the Resurrection. Thanks be to God for all the creators in the world!
ASK: Who is a creative person whom you appreciate? What are some things that a creative person has made that are very special to you?
Encourage the children to consider creators and creations that are important to them. Examples might include favorite books and authors, songs and musicians, television shows and creators, and so forth.
SAY: I will start a prayer, and leave time for each of you to name a creator or a creation that matters to you. It could be someone you know, or someone who made something that you love. You don’t even have to know the creator’s name. You don’t have to say anything if you would
rather participate silently.
PRAY: Creator God, thank you for the creative energy you give us to make and share. Through you, we use color, shapes, glue, good smells, little pieces, big pieces, words, movement, music and more to embody your love in the world. Thank you God, especially, for the creators and the creations we are naming now:
(Let children name their prayers.)
Bless all your beloved children with creativity and courage to share your love through art.