Developing a way for families to worship, discuss, and bring Lent into their homes without the traditional fasting (or in addition to giving up a food item) is one of the ways we strengthen the bridge between the church and home.
Lent in a Bag is handed out to all families with children on the first Sunday of Lent. Each year, I have a different theme with story items. This is to keep things interesting. For this year, the theme is Journey into the Wilderness. I am focusing on all the Bible stories about people who went into the desert and then came out to do their ministry.
Each week the family sits around the table and pulls one object out of the bag. Attached to each object is a Bible story, a short write up with discussion questions. After listening to the story, eachfamily member passes around the object and answers the questions. The session ends in prayer.
This is very popular and many of our families are excited to share Lent in a Bag with others outside of our church family!
Here are the stories and the items I used for this year:
Jesus- after his baptism, he goes into the wilderness (Matthew 4, Mark 1 or Luke 4) The object is a small bag of sand.
Jesus- in wildnerness tempted rocks to bread (Matthew 4: 1-10). The object is a rock.
Moses leaves Egypt to shepherd int he wilderness (Exodus 2: 11-25). The object is minature sheep.
Moses and the Israelites wander in the dessert (Exodus 32). The object is gold.
John the Baptist (Mark 1: 1-13). The object is a clam shell.
Ezekiel-having a heart for God (Ezekiel 36:24 – 37:14). The object is a heart.
Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 18-25 summarized). The object is a baby.
With the theme of into the wilderness as a precusor to ministry, I am hoping it encourages each person to think about their ministry. In the future, if they are driven “into the wilderness” in their lives, then to know an exciting ministry can be ahead in their lives too.
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