Thursday, February 19, 2009

Marking Time in Lent

Lent is just around the corner... we are less than one week until Ash Wednesday. Are you ready?

How to mark Lent has been a big source of conversation around here lately. BigBro and Princess have decided to forego the chocolate syrup in their milk during Lent. (This is a real challenge for Princess, but she is determined to do it! She's five now, you know!)

I've been looking for a way to mark Lent with the kids, something meaningful, simple, and kid-friendly. Last year, once a week, we gathered around the table, lit 14 candles, and read through "The Story of the Cross." After each station, the kids took turns blowing out a candle, until we were sitting in (relative) darkness. We'll do that again this year, but expecting the kids to pray all the stations every day is just not realistic. I need something simple for everyday.

My friend came to the rescue with "The Lenten Tree," a book of short devotions for each day of Lent. The book includes permission to copy the images for each day, and use them as a sort of Jesse Tree for Lent.

Instead of hauling the Jesse Tree out of storage, I decided to make a poster-chart. The Sundays (when BigBro and Princess can have chocolate milk) are marked in green. The important days of Lent are designated. Each night, after we pray the devotion, we will hang that day's image on the poster. The kids will be able to watch us move ever closer to Easter.

I am hoping that this will be a simple, yet meaningful, way to mark this special time of year as a family.

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