Don’t pass over Passover

Celebrate it!

How to link Passover to Easter at home or in Sunday School

It’s not a coincidence that Jesus was crucified at passover time – God loves a real life metaphor and the death of a lamb to rescue a son perfectly foreshadows the death of the Lamb to rescue us and make us his sons. It’s his modus operandi.

This page has a few ideas for how to teach and celebrate Passover. Great to add it to your Easter festivities or, of course, when you’re teaching through Exodus.

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Why do you seek the living among the dead?

He is not here he has risen!

And what a difference that makes to all of us

I love Easter – I love the tunes; glorious, triumphant, soaring, key changes and all. I love the celebration; chocolate eggs, hot cross buns, spring colours. I love that the waiting is over; no more ‘giving up’ for lent, no more solemnity or darkness from Good Friday. Most of all I love what it means – Jesus is alive!

Alive and with me.
Alive and victorious over death.
Alive and getting my place ready.
Alive and convincing.
Alive having beaten sin.

Christ is risen; He is risen indeed! O sing alleluia!

High days and Holy Days

Holy Week Celebrations

Worksheets and colouring and videos; oh my!

For Palm Sunday
Worksheet on Luke 19v28-44 Jesus Enters Jerusalem for 8-12’s but could be adapted
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry colouring page for up to 7 years old
This video for 4-11’s God’s Story: Palm Sunday
And A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Jerusalem is a great bit of stand up poetry for teens and grown ups.

For Good Friday
Worksheet on Luke 23v18-56 The Cross for 8-12’s
Jesus carrying the Cross and the Crucifixion colouring pages for 7 year olds or younger
This God’s Story: Easter video for 4-11’s
Either of the Funny Thing videos would work well on Good Friday

For Easter Sunday
Worksheet for 8-12’s on Luke 24v1-12 The Resurrection
Two great empty tomb colouring sheets or puzzle versions of them can be found on Crafting the Word of God
The Easter God’s story video above also covers the resurrection.
And would you know it A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Tomb: If the title sounds unpromising – don’t worry – these poems are both reverential and clever as well as amusing.

Easter plays

Teens and Drama

Go together like eggs and chocolate

So the thing about eggs and chocolate is you need the right combination. Chocolate shaped like eggs – great! Boiled chocolate – not-so-great.

Here are a couple of Easter plays that work great when combined with teenagers. There’s comedy, they’re short enough to learn, you can pick and choose characters depending on whether you want a big or a small part. What’s not to love?

Have an Indiana Jones style Easter with The Adventures of Dr Luke

Or take a look at the bigger picture with God’s Big Rescue Story (which I can’t believe I’ve never told you about before!)

Easter Gifts

There’s more to Easter than eggs
And here are some gifts to help show it

 Kids, in my experience, ask a lot of questions. If you know a child between two and 10 you’re undoubtably answering a lot of questions – and as frustrating as that can be; it’s a fantastic thing! If you find yourself answering a lot of questions about God try  Rob Willoughby’s So, Who Is God? Answers to Real Questions About God.

As the subtitle of Rob’s book suggests this book aims to cover the specific and the theologically challenging from “Does God live in the sky?” to “What is God’s real name?” I really appreciated how the answers include Bible passages, often one OT and one NT, a relevant anecdote from Church history and an application.

You can pull the book of the shelf when a child asks a stumper or you can read your way through; one question a day, and it works equally well. It could be useful at home or for a Sunday School teacher who knows a question is going to come up with this weeks passage and it’d make a great Easter gift for a curious kid.

This book I gave to my 7 year old nephew and would do again. It’s a similar style to the popular Tom Gates series (think an easier to read and more creative Diary of a Wimpy Kid) well-loved by my secondary school reluctant readers as well as primary aged keen beans. Instead of being a fictionalised version of a school kid – it’s the diary of Dr Luke as he investigates the life of Jesus. Luke’s gospel rewritten in a fun, engaging and appropriate manner – what more could you want.

There’s also a £1 snippet of Diary of a Disciple which would make great gifts/prizes for a Sunday School class of 6-10 year olds.

For teens try The Action Bible it’s a comic book style retelling of the Bible, compelling, visually stunning and historically accurate in terms of costume and architecture. Great for full-of-energy-can’t-sit-still-and-read types. There’s also a collaboration with the NIV Study Bible for those who want an actual Bible but one that highlights the awesome and exiting rather than looking serious and stuffy. I’d recommend for girls who want a teen appropriate study Bible without the pink, handbags and ‘hanging out at the mall’ feel.

There’s an Easter Story version that is downloadable as an ebook, at 17 pages long and 99p it would be great for teens that can’t stop looking at their phone/tablet.

Want to give a non-egg but know a book won’t be appreciated? Try some music!
For kids – or church leaders looking for Biblical children’s music – I love Colin Buchanan (you may have noticed) and he’s conveniently compiled his most Easter-y songs into one album Boss of the Cross.

 

Or for an older teen how about the ever hip and enthusiastic Rend Collective. Their latest, Good News, is celebratory and sad, thoughtful and foot-stomping, moving and carries the message.

 

Just so you know; I don’t make money of recommending these to you – I do it ‘cos I love them. Click on the title of each product to be taken to a webpage where you can buy – where I can I’ve used the original publisher’s site or a Christian company to make sure that these people can keep producing excellent products which can help us share the gospel.

Pancake Day!

Shrove Tuesday

and the beginning of lent

I live in America now where they think a pancake should be fluffy – whereas I know adding raising agents to the batter is WRONG – it should be as flat as a pancake.

However you prefer your pancake today is a good day to consider what you’ll do over lent. Similarly to advent it’s a time of preparation – Easter is coming! We can look forward and celebrate the time of God’s rescue and the historical event we can look back on and say ‘Yes – this is why I believe!’

Here are a few ideas for lent-prep:

Fast
If you’re going for all 40 days give up something that takes time and use that time to study and pray instead. Try fasting from dessert; a daily TV show; youtube; wearing makeup; computer games, shaving etc.
Another way to fast is to give up something important to you and tell God – ‘you are more important to me than this’. Most of the above list falls into this category but here are some non-time consuming options: chocolate, coffee, selfies, shopping for clothes, alcohol, meat, Facebook etc.
Or fast from food for a day, pick a day where you can be quiet and use mealtimes (or the whole day) to pray. This article is helpful if you’re a beginner like me.

Take up something new
Here are a few Lent based devotionals helping you to prepare for Easter:
#LiveLent is the Church of England’s devotional – you can sign up for text or email devotionals here.
BibleGateway.com has their Lent Bible Reading Plan
There’s a prayer guide from Open Doors
An ebook of Tim Chester’s Lent devotions (if you haven’t been organised enough to get a paper version)

With your youth group or Sunday school
Make a count your blessings jar: write one thing every day through lent that was a good gift from God: put it in the jar. At Easter read and remind yourself of all the blessings then thank the Giver. As a group; have a joint jar and put in one thing each from the week.
Make a prayer calendar: On each day write the name of someone to pray for. It’s easy to fill in 40 days as a group and with teens you can co-ordinate and remind people online.
Learn a section of scripture together. Practice it when you meet and decide how much you’ll learn y next week. Isaiah 53 is Easter appropriate.

I haven’t forgotten it’s black history month – our next inspirational Christian will be here on Friday. Subscribe so you don’t miss out.

Who will be King?

A Gospel Outline

and a session outline too!

I wrote this one-off session plan based on the Who will be King? booklets. Their stuff is amazing as it’s so simple and the kids can connect the pictures to what is being taught really well. Gospel outlines are great as a way of teaching non-believing kids the whole gospel and getting them to look at where they stand as well as equipping young believers with an easy way to share what they believe with their friends.

I’m working on writing four first person accounts of Christmassy events that link to the four advent Sundays (yes, I had to look them up) so look out for them next week!

Happy Easter

He’s Alive!

and it’s a great time to celebrate!

Happy Easter from the Disorganised Sunday School blog, I’ve written an Easter themed ‘how to’ today so if you’re stuck for lunch ideas try an edible resurrection garden. It’s great to make with kids so if you’re looking after children this Easter holiday why not add this to your crafts and activities list.

I’ve also collected all the cross and resurrection themed stuff we have so far together on one handy page for you guys. You’re welcome. There will be more to come of course, so don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already.

Please do comment (at the bottom of this page) and let me know what crafts, games, illustrations etc. you’ve used to teach this Sunday – I’d love to hear from you!

Jesus still meets people today

Sorry it’s late…

what else do you expect from a disorganised blog?

I hope it was worth the wait though as Jesus meets us is the conclusion to our series in John’s gospel. Jesus meets a truly diverse group of people and it just goes to show that he is definitely for everyone!

For God so Loved the world he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

We planned this one to show you don’t have to have physically met Jesus to be able to know him and that the very same Jesus is still working in people today, including you – the leaders of your Sunday School/afterschool club/children’s church!

As a bonus, and because even I had noticed it was nearly Easter, here is a play I wrote for our 11-14’s. In it Luke investigates the mysterious tales of one man’s resurrection.
Introducing Doctor Luke and the Mysterious events in Jerusalem!