Friday, March 20, 2015

God's Love is for the Most Childlike Among us

 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: 

"O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, 

thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, 

and for revealing them to the childlike.  

Matthew 11:25  NLT

When Bethany was born with Down Syndrome, I worried about how much she would be able to learn or understand.  I remember praying, "Oh God, please- I want her to know You and Your love.  I want her to understand Your good plans for her life." 

I'm more certain now, than I've ever been: God is constantly revealing His Love to everyone- especially those who have intellectual disabilities.  

In fact, those with childlike hearts and minds are often among the first to see the truth.

I love the holy days (holidays): Christmas, Lent, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter- because we have the perfect opportunities to illuminate the joyful news that God loves us so much He saved us so we can live with Him forever!

I've found some great, visual, fun ways to illustrate the Good News in a simple, yet powerful way.

Make Salvation Bracelets 

The plan of salvation can be explained through making these really fun bracelets with beads of colors.  

Black bead - represents sorrow of sin
Red bead- represents the blood of Jesus
White bead- represents Forgiveness and purity
Blue bead - represents water Baptism
Green bead- represents Growth and New life
Gold bead- represents Heaven

Resurrection Eggs

Our children and grandchildren love these 12 colorful plastic eggs. Each egg has an object lesson, activities and a Bible lesson that helps illustrate the story Jesus. 

Resurrection Rolls

Not only yummy and fun to make and eat, but these resurrection rolls are a great visual to explain the empty tomb.

Make a Resurrection Garden

We made these last year and had so much fun as we talked about what it would have been like to see Jesus die, but then go to the tomb and see that it was empty!

Reading from a Children's Bible  (one of my favorites is the Jesus Storybook Bible.)  

This Bible also has corresponding video clips that go with a lot of the stories!  Here's the Easter Story.

Movies- watching children's videos that tell the great story-Donut Man- Resurrection Celebration, The Miracle Maker, (a clay-mation DVD about the life of Jesus)  Super Book Videos.

Church- Look for churches that offer family experiences during Easter week.  We've taken our kids to Passion Plays, Last Supper Re-enactments, Maundy Thursday foot washing service, Stations of the Cross, Good Friday Services, just to name a few.  All these things add more dimension to their understanding of the Greatest Story Ever Told!

MODEL JOY FOR SALVATION-  Our children embrace what they see and hear!   Fill your home with Christian music. Talk about your love for God, what Jesus has done in your life, how much Jesus has done in your child's life.  Talk about the future promises of living with God forever and being made whole. 

May the Lord bless your Easter Celebration 
with grace and new life!

Pray:  Father, thank you for sending your Son to live for us and die for us.  Thank You He beat death and we can live with You forever.  As parents, help us make Your Good News come alive to our children! In Jesus Name- Amen.

~ Cindy Barclay

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