Some of the best ideas end up in an entirely different place than you first imagined… This particular story begins with a challenge. While it’s a blessing to have lived in so many places in the United States and around the world… The challenge is – how do you keep up with your nieces and nephews? With your godchildren? With your church families in so many different places?
Well, one snowy afternoon in Ohio – I began to create a home-made Advent calendar for some of those very important people in my world. And then, it became a project for Lent, too. And finally, the idea transformed into a children’s sermon for my home congregation.
There are an abundance of creative ideas available online. But the idea of “Lent In A Bag” began at Buildfaith.org. They’ve got some great and simple resources if you’re interested. I was looking for something a little more in-depth, and my home congregation frequently uses The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Some creative research, brainstorming, and a few snow storms later…
We’ve created “Lent In A Bag” that specifically connects with The Jesus Storybook Bible. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for families who don’t gather on a regular basis for reading the Bible or praying together, to take one small step during this Lenten journey. Or for families who already have a daily or consistent rhythm together in the Word, we hope that this will serve as a supplement.
The bag we are using contains seven small items to be used as symbols to focus individual, family, or group meditations and conversations during the Season of Lent. There is no assigned order, although if you want your plant to bloom by Easter, plan on using “week #2” earlier in the season. Questions are intended to start conversation, ideas for experiential moments, and Scripture verses are noted. Specific connections with The Jesus Storybook Bible (Sally Lloyd-Jones) are listed, but you are most welcome to use whichever version/translation of Scripture best fits your family’s needs.
Each of the items in the bag are easy to purchase at local stores or online (for example the seeds, ports, and seed starter capsules only total $10 for all of our students). It’s difficult to make one size fit all – so we expect that people will adapt and modify these base ideas to work for them. Feel free to substitute other ideas, objects, or modify any of the following lessons.
We’ve provided one comprehensive file, as well as a weekly break down – please use what works best for you: Lent In A Bag.