What does loving your neighbor as yourself really mean, as a parent? Well, as I carry tissues around and sneeze and feel the ache in my head, I can tell you what it does not mean.
If your preschooler is snotting up a storm (clear or green...it doesn't matter) and coughing as well, you should not send her to AWANA Cubbies or to the Family Night at church, no matter how much she begs. For if you do, she is surely to pass it to several families, spoiling their Easter at least in part.
Ours was one of the families who caught little Lilly's nasty cold virus, as well as the pastor's family. I had to cancel Easter dinner with our friend Dean, who was our scheduled guest, so he wouldn't get sick. In addition, I have no energy for cooking; I am not pleased with her parents at all!
But that's not why I'm posting today.
I have an idea to share for a simple Easter play your whole family can participate in, as well as your Easter dinner guests. My children and I performed this for the AWANA Cubbies lesson last week and it was a big hit.
Turn to page 302 in your Jesus Storybook Bible. Using pages 302 - 316 as your script, perform an Easter play which includes Jesus going to the Cross, through his resurrection and Mary Magdelene seeing him near the tomb.
I wrote out the script on paper, but you can be the narrator and just read from the Jesus Storybook Bible. When it comes to the dialogue, you can just say it and have the characters repeat it, or you can have them study their lines (there aren't many lines).
This is powerful, my friends! It takes little preparation and your children and all the adults will glean much from the experience. I promise!
You will need some simple props:
Tomb and Large Rock - For the tomb and the large stone, we used a storage box, and a trash bag over-stuffed with stuffed animals. We turned the storage box over on its side, to serve as the tomb. It fit my six-year-old daughter perfectly. We used the over-stuffed trash bag as the large stone, pretending it was very heavy.
Cross - We used a straw broom, with the person playing Jesus keeping their hands out to the sides
Scarlet Robe & Crown of Thorns ( used to mock Jesus) - We used a purple towel and a bread basket hat
Toy Hammer & pretend nails - We just pretended we had nails, and used a toy hammer
And that's it. Really simple and yet very powerful. As you read the narrative, you'll use the people in your "audience" to perform other parts as they come up (angels, guards, etc.). Some will get multiple parts.
Just telling the story of Easter is not enough, since only a portion of people are auditory learners. A slight majority are visual, with a smaller percentage being tactile-kinesthetic. The beauty of this idea is, a play engages all learning styles and bonds your family.
Keep this in mind too, for later: many of the stories in the Jesus Storybook Bible lend themselves to simple yet powerful skits.
I know you probably have a lot of other Easter preparations, but this is well worth your time. Your children can gather all the props...you only have to read the passages.
Enjoy! Wishing a joyous Resurrection Day to all my friends!