Every year as Lent approaches, I find myself wishing that there were more activities available to do with the children, similar to the things we do at Advent. Last year, I found one new resource–a book by Arnold Ytreeide that continues the story started in Jotham’s Journey, but this time, set around the events of Holy Week. That was a good start, but I still wished for more.
This year, I stumbled across the resource I didn’t even know I was looking for–The Jesus Tree: A Lenten Journey Through the Gospels.
The idea is similar to the Jesse Tree–there’s a daily Bible reading, and an “ornament” to be placed on the tree to reflect the reading. Instead of focusing on Jesus’s family tree, however, this tree focuses on Jesus’s life, culminating with the events of Holy Week, and, of course, Easter Sunday.
My plan is to do the reading from the ESV each morning, before Moose has to go to school, just like we did with the Jesse Tree. I’m also hoping, when possible, to read the story again in the evening, but this time from a children’s Bible. I’m hoping to share each day’s writing and symbol here, as well, again as I did during Advent. Of course, once the baby arrives, there are no guarantees for what I will or will not get done!
I’m very excited about using this resource. I will admit, it’s a lot of work for me, at least this first year. All of the felt patterns need to be cut out and glued together, and felt and I do not get along! But once the work is done, this is something we can use year after year, and I’m so excited to have found something for Lent that’s the same caliber as one of our favorite, and most meaningful, Advent activities. Now if only there was a Lenten equivalent of the Advent Wreath, we’d be all set…