A feast, a celebration, a party like no other.
Preparing for Resurrection Sunday?
Resurrection Sunday is a shadow of that someday soon feast – The Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Can I venture to say that it is the largest celebration for Christians on this planet, even larger than Christmas! Yes, Jesus was born, but He was born for a purpose. His life tells us the story, but the end of His life…
As we near the last week of Jesus’ life, the stories are beginning to stack up more quickly, climbing precariously towards the pinnacle – the climax of God’s great rescue. Our family has been following the events for weeks using a chronological Bible. The chronological order has helped our imaginations tremendously and has put us in the middle of the building tension.
And now the last week of His life is almost upon us! The Passion Week is such an intense contrast to Sunday’s Resurrection celebration. Without it, the climax of the story is not so climactic. With no darkness, Sunday loses the brilliance of its light. So as we prepare for Resurrection Sunday, we will be soaking in the events leading up to the cross and Resurrection.
I have a hope…a hope that my children will pause and think long, drinking deeply of Christ’s life and then prepare passionately to celebrate the Risen Lord, as no party ever was celebrated before. Christ is worthy of this kind of fasting and feasting.
There is certainly not just one way of having a party, but a party it is. Maybe it’s us, the adults, that have forgotten how to celebrate. Kids have not! They dance and rejoice easily, enjoying the light of the smiles around them. Maybe we should be letting the children help plan the celebration and feast.
It is with this childish gaze that we once came and adored Him.
May the wonder never end and the climax be the Resurrection.
If I have sparked a childish gleam in the eye of some adult, then I have done as I hoped.
This online journal is a place for me to think out loud and try ideas out. Ideas grow in community and I am learning that no one can be creative in a vacuum. Maybe if I’m creatively brave, you will be too. Art and creativity are God’s song to us, it makes Him beautiful. And isn’t that the goal, to make God beautiful (to glorify Him)? How a person (or family) gets there can vary like canvases or sheet music.
But if we do something…something beyond just a “normal” week, something beyond a “normal” Sunday, Christ is honored in our homes and His story is etched deeper in our hearts. Maybe if we work together on it some…
Alright, let the ideas roll.
First a few books for passion week that we have loved
(and I’m sure there are many more)
- Behold the King
- The Final Days of Jesus
- Treasuring God in Our Traditions
- Love to the Uttermost
Passion week articles:
- Holy Week at the Pipers’
- Two Minutes a Day to Celebrate Holy Week
- Can a House Tell Stories
- Resurrection Decor and Activities (meaning behind all her decor)
Passion week Timeline:
Beginning with a timeline has been most helpful to me. It’s an easy guide for the last week of Christ’s life. Obviously there are theologians that debate the timeline and you are welcome to that conversation amongst your mature Christian friends, but for the sake of continuity, I went with several trusted sources and the most commonly accepted sequence of events. Here is the general timeline below with a few ideas and colors attached.
Anointed by Mary, feast with Lazarus (who had been raised not long before) [story objects: fragrance/perfume]
[Purples and Blues – royal colors of a king]
Triumphal Entry [story objects: Palms and dates, donkey, signs of royalty like a crown or scepter or sword, blue and purple foods]
Weeping over Jerusalem
Fig tree cursed [figs, wilted leaves]
Cleansing of Temple [money, doves, whip]
Greeks ask to see Christ
The widow’s mite [one coin]
Mt. Olivet discourse
Christ predicts his death
Judas agrees to betray Jesus [30 pieces of silver]
Passover preparation, Last supper, Jesus washes disciples feet [story objects: simplified Passover feast, bitter and sweet foods, the Lord’s supper bread and juice, lamb, blood over doors, make unleavened bread, story of the Exodus]
Gethsemane to pray ending in Judas’ betrayal
[Browns and Reds – the cross and blood of Christ]
Jewish religious trials
Peter denies Jesus [story objects: Rooster]
Death of Judas
Roman political trials [story objects: hands washed]
Mock trial by soldiers [story objects: crown of thorns, purple robe]
Led away to Calvary [story objects: brown rough wood, nails]
Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
Crucifixion between two thieves, great darkness
3:00pm Jesus breathes his last breath
Veil of Temple torn, earthquake, graves opened
Christ’s followers watch from a distance
Soldier pierces Christ’s side to confirm death [story objects: spear]
Rushed preparation for burial in Joseph or Arimathea’s tomb [story objects: white cloth, round stone, cave, perfume/spices]
[Blacks and grays-the silence and darkness of death]
Sealing the tomb and placing guards to watch [soldiers]
[Very White with Yellows and Greens-The purity of freedom from sin, The brightness of His presence, The growth of His followers]
Resurrection [story objects: A white flower with yellow pollen and green stem, white lights, candles all lit, white table cloth, green plants, colorful eggs and baby animals, branches with buds, seeds all symbolizing new life, bread risen, a feast for the eyes and the tongue]
Earthquake and stone rolled away [story objects: open tomb]
Women find angels and empty tomb [story objects: cloth, angels, empty eggs or caves]
Ran to disciples
Risen Savior appeared to many
Timeline research from TGC, The Chronological Bible, The Final Days of Jesus, Willmington’s Bible Handbook
Passion Week activities:
- Resurrection Eggs– A perfect way to redeem the famed egg hunt.
- Seven Candles – I love this visual of the candles! This can be done over seven weeks or the seven days of Passion week. I’ve played with this idea for a few years now (my fumbling attempts are all throughout the ‘Lent‘ category of my journal), But the idea came from two of my favorite ladies, Noel Piper & Barbara Rainey (they love to write on meaningful traditions in the home…I secretly want to be just like them).
- Messiah Mystery – I have not bought this yet, but will be in the next few years. My kids are just to the right age (7 & 9).
- Passover meal – This is also something I am fumbling through…and loving it. Honestly, I don’t have one way of doing this easily yet, but if I can hone it down to ‘doable’ then I’ll share one of these years. Here’s last year’s attempt. The lamb is the most important part really (and rice crispy treats are really easy to shape!) I referenced Ann Voskamp for some of what we did, as well as a Messianic Jewish site that I can’t seem to locate now. I will update if I find it. Ever Thine Home also has some ideas.
- Resurrection baskets – Everything that is good and true and lovely… treats from God, things we don’t deserve or need. Things opposed to darkness, bitterness, brokenness, and death. (Examples: things with lights, sweet things, healing things like bandaids and things that comfort pain, things that bring life like seeds, plants, eggs and baby animals, nests. Lambs and lions, snake crushers, party blowers and confetti throwers, victory banners, verse cards and life giving story books. last year’s ideas.).
That’s all this is, visual reminders that stop us and make us pause and think.
How do you remind yourself?
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