Lent. Springtime. Homechurch with our kiddos

Every year at Ash Wednesday I think, "There is no way spring will be here by the time Easter is..." and every year in Seattle I am wrong.  Every year the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter the earth wakes up: trees are flowering, daffodils are celebrating, the blanket of grey clouds have turned into the adolescent mood swings of spring.

My lenten practice this year was a giant fail.  At some point I just threw in the towel.  Stress took over and I put down my attempts.  No guilt folks! No guilt.  What we did do well is that for the first time we have actually done some lenten practice with our kiddos.

As a family with small children we have struggled with how to introduce lent/holy week/crucifixion and resurrection to our kids.  There is such a complexity of suffering, pain, redemption, sin, salvation all at play...how to share that with kids?

It just doesn't have the magic of Christmas.

Or maybe as adults the real challenge is that it doesn't have the ease of Christmas. Lent is simply harder to take in. We have to acknowledge suffering and wrongdoing.  These thing we are often trying to protect our children from.

So alas this year we figured out a good method for our lenten practice. Every lent we get out this purple chalice and plate.  On Ash Wednesday we filled it with slips of paper each with a different bible story from (one of two) Children's Bibles. (I have some serious thoughts about how crappy a lot of Children's bibles are but that is for another post.)   Each evening we have read a story of Jesus's life, so that over time we can answer the question "What caused Jesus to die on the cross?"

Slowly these stories have been made into the shape of a cross.  It is Jesus' living that leads him to the cross....


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