Mar 31 2010

Make an Easter Tree – Lent Week 7


Decorate your easter tree with leaves. Paper leaves work well with the following activity:

Explanation: Last Sunday we celebrated Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday Christians celebrate the special entry Jesus made into Jerusalem on the back of a colt the week before his death and resurrection.

The Bible tells us that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him with waving palm branches, and by covering his path with palm branches. Immediately following this great time of celebration in the ministry of Jesus, he begins his journey to the cross.

Activity: As we remember this time where Jesus began this journey to the cross. You may like to draw or cut out of a piece of paper, a branch or flower that represents yourself. You may like to write on it a letter of prayer to Jesus. Perhaps begin each line with the first letters of your name. We know that Jesus loves our different personalities and ways of being and relating to him.

Mar 9 2010

Make an Easter Tree – Lent Week 4


Decorate around the base of your tree with cups. Mugs, egg cups, pretty ones, funny ones.. (That can be filled with goodies on Easter Sunday!)

Explanation: Cups remind us of lots of things and have a special place in lots of stories, prayers and conversations in the bible. Today our cups remind us to share with others in this season of Lent. Just as we love having a meal or picnic with other people, this cup reminds us to do nice things with others.

Think of something nice you can do with or for someone this week! Maybe you could play with someone who is a bit lonely or visit someone in a nursing home. Maybe you could write a letter, draw a picture, pick flowers or make a gift for someone who could do with a nice surprise!

The Lenten Hospitality Challenge For Adults:

How are you going so far?

Just as Lent is about opening your life to God’s Spirit working in you and renewing you from within, it is also a valuable time to put more time into others. Sit down and think about how you can bless the people God has placed around you. Maybe you could invite those neighbours you’ve been getting to know over for a meal, maybe you know someone that is going through a lonely time and you know they would love a visit. Perhaps you have other gifts and resources at your fingertips that can be a real blessing to those around you in ways i can’t even imagine. Just do it! Get out there and give it a go. And once you get a taste for it, I’m sure it will quickly turn from a discipline into a passion.

Cup Meditation

Close your eyes and relax your body.

Picture your past week as a cup, what has it held? What do you taste? What do you want to pour down the drain? what do you ask God to cleanse you of? What joys do you savour and give thanks for?

Hold your hand out as a cup and receive from God now. Invite him into your life, to fill you.

Lord let our prayers today be accepted as sweet-smelling incense in your presence. We offer up our prayers, our whole selves and our best affections. May your will be done here in this place and around the world today.

Mar 2 2010

Make an Easter Tree – Lent Week 3


Week 3 –

Decorate your tree with eggs.

You can buy decorative ones to hang (spotlight), you can colour paper ones, or you can cut egg shapes out of old greeting cards and thread them with ribbon.

Explanation:  Throughout history, eggs are special in Easter celebrations. The egg reminds us of new life and new beginnings just as a chick hatches from the egg. Jesus gives everyone a chance to start again like a chick coming out of an egg. Even if we have stuffed things up he can help us to live a life that is full of love and joy!

The tradition of giving eggs as Easter greetings continues all around the world today and there are many fun traditions involved with breaking the eggs, hunting for them, singing for them and eating them. The tradition of colouring eggs in bright colours – representing the sunlight of spring – goes back to the Middle Ages when easter began to be celebrated in spring – the season of change and new beginning.

You could read together the story of the prodigal son who gets a wonderful new start!

Here are some Easter Egg pictures for the kids to colour.

On Sunday we spent some time allowing God to bring some pictures to our mind – images of renewal, life and warmth. We invited God to open our imaginations as we listened to the words of this old song and drew or wrote down any prayers that floated to our minds.

Easter Song

Come, sing of the springtime, God’s pledge of new birth.

The snows are all melted which shrouded the earth;

old root-ends, deep hidden, send shoots to the light;

and long-dormant insects burst out into flight.

Come, sing of Christ’s rising, the joyful surprise,

which lifted low spirits and opened blind eyes,

reviving numb hope with its heart-warming call:

‘My love is not dead; it is stronger than all.’

Come, sing of the son who struck out on his own,

but came to his senses when lost and alone;

and sing of the father’s delight to forgive,

for he who was dead is back home and alive.

Come, sing of the countless disciples today

who live in Christ’s spirit and walk in his way,

who sometimes laid low by life’s hardships and pains,

yet rise above self with its deadening chains.


Feb 23 2010

Make an Easter Tree – Lent Week 2


Week 2 –

Decorate your tree with white flowers – real or fake. We cut little circles out of a paper plate, cut frills around the edges and made a hole in the middle to hang them with. You could even thread white popcorn.

Explanation: At church this week we made a black cross on our hands and said sorry to Jesus for bad things in our life. Then when we had shared these things with Jesus we went to the cross at the front of the hall and we took away a white flower.      In the bible a little white flower from the hyssop plant (psalm 51) was sometimes used to sprinkle water on people in a special ceremony to remind people that God had made them clean from sin. Today this flower reminds us that God takes away those bad and sad things that we are sorry for and makes us clean and new again like white snow.. or a white flower!

Isaiah 1:18 (New Living Translation)

18 “Come now, let’s settle this,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
I will make them as white as wool.

Make an Easter Tree – Lent Week 1

Here is a great Lent project for your home that follows our Eastern Hills Sunday Lent journey.  It involves creating an Easter tree and decorating it with something different each week leading up to Easter.

The decorations tell us something about Easter and relate to our Sunday meditations. Each Wednesday we will post the new decoration for the week.


Week 1 – Ash Wednesday

Choose a branch or tree that you are going to use as your Easter Tree.

You can paint it if you like! We painted ours purple – which happens to be a traditional Lenten colour. (More on that later!)

Explain to your household that this is an Easter tree that we are going to decorate each week during Lent.  Lent is the special 40 days leading up to Easter! The decorations will tell us something about Easter.

Lent is a time to think a lot about Jesus’ life and how we can be more like him and celebrate that he is here with us, helping us to live the wonderful life he has planned for us.

You may like to read the story of Zaccheus and Jesus and that special tree!

Here is an introduction to Lent just for your interest

Lent has a long history. It began in the early church as a time for those who were going to be baptized to prepare themselves for baptism and full acceptance into the church. It was a time for fasting and prayer as well as a time for them to study and learn about Jesus and what it means to be a part of the church. (baptism happened only once a year on the day before Easter)

Eventually everyone in the church joined in this practice as a way of showing fellowship and support for the new believers. It became an official season of the church calendar and was established as a 40 days of preparation to celebrate Easter. It is a time to reflect on Christ’s life and example, to turn from sin, to renew our commitments and our faith, to celebrate God’s redemptive and life-giving presence with us. The church has traditionally made this journey through a focus on fasting, giving and prayer.

So the time of Lent is really about growth. The word Lent means “Spring” or “springtime”. Just as spring is a time when we plant seeds and bury them in darkness it is a time when we plant ourselves in God and focus on and repent of the darkness in ourselves and in our world. It is a time when through repentance we grow and become a thing of beauty and restoration to the world around us. Lent is really about going through a process that should change us, that should bring us closer to being fully the people God has called us and created us to be.

We hope that this journey to Easter draws us together as a community and draws us deeper into the truth of our faith and the reality of what God has done and is doing. And we pray that we may grow to know the strength of God’s new-life power, his resurrection power that makes his reality possible in our reality.

Information collated from Dennis Bratcher

and Beth Stedman