Our church has an afterschool ministry with children called Kids for Christ. This year we’ve been exploring the life and ministry of Jesus through a curriculum I wrote called “Journey with Jesus.” The week before last we finished up Jesus’ parables and next week the lesson is “From Parables to Palms.” So today was a perfect day to stop and celebrate Ash Wednesday.
Note to everyone who works with children: candy is a huge incentive. No matter your opinion on it, it works. So today we reviewed/learned facts about Lent and Ash Wednesday and the kids each got a starburst candy each time they offered an answer. Then, I invited them to consider, what did Jesus do when he was in the wilderness for forty days? (again, starburst for offering a possible answer. also, for the more introverted kids and those who had not been exposed to anything about lent or ash wednesday, I would often ask the same question twice so they felt comfortable answering.)
We don’t know what Jesus did during those forty days, other than fast. But I hope this illustrator is right. I forgot how I found this video but I’m so glad I did. It’s an amazing imaginative illustration of what Jesus did during those 40 days. 40 illustrations, each numbered in the top left hand corner.
I invited the kids to watch the illustrations and at the end invited them to share which was their favorite and why.
I wish you could’ve seen the children watching the video. They were captivated. One child insisted on narrating each illustration “page 1, page 2, page 3.” Several of the children shouted out loud as it was happening what they saw Jesus doing in the pictures. “He’s praying. He’s drinking water. He’s playing with the animals. He’s praying again. Oh look, there’s ‘evil Jesus’ tempting Jesus.” (you have to watch the video.)
I LOVE exploring the Bible with CHILDREN! They amaze me with the things they see and their insight to what is happening in the stories. I highly recommend this video with children sometime during Lent to imagine together what Jesus was up to. Perhaps you could even watch it as a family.
What do you imagine Jesus did for 40 days? How do you plan to remember his sacrifice this season of Lent?
If you’re looking for a Lenten devotional, try #picturelent.