The green table is moving! I'll begin posting again after we're all set up in our new home!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Easter Lamb

Forget the bunny.  Forget the marshmallow chicks.  Easter is all about the Lamb.

The Lamb doesn't hide foiled eggs - He comes with His blood and gives it freely.  Jesus, The Lamb of God, makes the final sacrifice.  The blood of the Lamb, shed on the cross, takes away the sins of the world for our forgiveness, life, and salvation!

I've heard it said that this message in far too violent for young children, who could never understand such abstractions. 

It is a violent story, full of pain, suffering, blood, nails, swords, heartbreak, and yes, death.  You can't sugar coat Christ's Passion by rolling it in bright yellow Peep dust.  Yet, the story is sweet.  Christ's victory over death is our sweet victory too!  Our baptized children, full of faith by the power of the Holy Spirit, are more than equipped to take on the events of Holy Week.  Hiding the whole story of Easter, including the death of Jesus, from our children is to deny them Christ!  Even the youngest child can read a cross; it says Jesus.  Jesus died for you.  Jesus loves you. Jesus forgives you.

The Lamb is an Easter symbol takes a little more effort to unpack with young children, but one I like to introduce early.  Children love animals and tend to have an innate compassion and tenderness for them.  I just tell my little ones, "Jesus is the Lamb of God and He died to take away the sins of the world." Do you know what?  They believe it.  Little children have great faith!  Sure, they may not be able to verbalize all of the gory details of Old Testament sacrifices, connect it to Jesus suffering, and explain how His death gives us life. That will come later. Right now they see the Lamb all over our church and can identify Jesus as the Lamb of God!

During Lent, lambs are all over our home too.  Yarn Wrapped Lambs are a project we have especially enjoyed making over the last couple of years.  Gather thin cardboard (such as a cereal box), a pencil, scissors, white paint, black and pink markers, and some fuzzy white yarn. 
Sketched a little lamb and trace it on to the cardboard for cutting and painting. (I'd be happy to send you my lamb template, just send me an email.)  In a classroom setting this could be done with a heavy white stock and a lamb shaped die.  After the little lambs have dried, add details using marker.  I like a little pink in the ears and for a nose.  Add black dots for eyes and a line along the feet for hooves. 
Cut 2-3 yards of yarn and start wrapping it around the lamb to give him a nice woolly coat.  You can tape one end of the yarn to the back of the lamb, but I just start it off by wrapping the yarn around itself a few times to lock it in place for little ones to finish off.  Once wrapped, tuck the end of the string under the other cords. Busy hands make for open ears, a good time to further introduce Jesus as Lamb of God.
We also enjoy singing the Angus Dei, or Lamb of God.  If you teach it to the children at home you're sure to hear them sing it again with you in church!

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.

Our little lambs look sweet sitting on the window sills overlooking our green table.  They are done - until Easter!

With toothpicks, cut paper, a red marker and a dot of glue, I make little victory flags.  The Lamb is victorious all around the year, but we save our flags to stick them in the Lamb's wool as part of our Easter celebration! 

Last year we made a few extra flags, from white craft foam, and taped them to the chocolate lambs that adorned our Lemon Coconut Easter Cake.  For the recipe, please click here to visit my friend Kate's blog, Scrumptious Company.  Making a lamb shaped cake for Easter is a tradition still held by many, but until I inherit a lamb pan, this is truly scrumptious bundt cake recipe that is perfect for Easter!

Easter is all about the Lamb - the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!

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