Ahhhh … it’s Lent! What am I going to do with my middle school kids?
That was me last week, and once again, God provided a lesson that reached my kids. We meet on Sunday mornings, but a few times a year we do a hands-on lesson on Wednesday night. This time it just happened to fall on Ash Wednesday.
After food and catching up, we did an Easter egg hunt in groups. Each group found one egg of each color. In the eggs were pictures or words to help with the lesson. So, for example, right when we started, I asked if they knew what the season before Easter was called. They told their small group what they thought then opened the first egg and inside was a paper that said Lent. We did this all the way through the lesson, talking about why we have Lent, how many days it is, why people fast, brainstorming ideas of things to fast from or things to add … like reading through a Gospel or doing an act of service everyday. As we went through the lesson I asked them to pick one thing that they could take away or add during Lent.
Once we finished our discussion each student made a ‘Lent Calendar.' I got the idea from Pinterest, but we did our own version. Each student picked a piece of thick plastic (that I bought at the ReStore) and 40 bottle caps that I ordered online. I showed a couple ideas of how to lay out the caps on the board and they ran with it. After they designed their boards they hot glued the caps and chose 40 stones. The idea is that every day that they fast or add the thing they chose, they put a stone in a cap. At the end of Lent each cap should be filled and their hearts will be ready and expectantly waiting to celebrate our Savior on Easter.
I really wasn’t sure how this would go … but the kids loved it! And one student took it even further and told me he chose red plastic for Jesus’ blood and white stones because He forgives our sins. Awesome!