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