Thursday, April 7, 2011

Easter Worship for Families

How will you celebrate the Resurrection with your family?  One idea that we have used for a few years now is called "Lenten Lights."  This time of worship follows the last week of Jesus' life leading up to our His crucifixion and culminating in a celebration of the resurrection.  The holidays can be wonderful times to help teach and encourage our families to keep the Savior our central focus.  Maybe this coming Easter season can be a jump start for regular family devotional times.  Below is the transcript that you can use for your own Easter family worship this year.  This is adapted from a resource from Noel Piper.

To try this with your family you'll need a Bible and seven candles that you can use throughout the week.  Also, I'd encourage you to read through the whole thing to get an understanding of what's going on before you try it as a family.

April 16, Saturday of Palm Sunday weekend (All seven candles lit before reading)

Read: God created the universe – from galaxies to water spiders. He created the breeze that calms us and the hurricane that terrifies us. All of it is to show what He is like, to display His glory and personality. BUT people have let themselves be blinded and say it just got there somehow – no need for God. Others worship the things that were created and don’t see God behind it.

Read: John 1:1-5; Genesis 1:1, 31, 2:1-3; Romans 1:18-23 (snuff out one candle. Do not light it again until Easter) Romans 1:25.

April 17, Palm Sunday (Six candles lit before reading)

Read: God created people to give Him glory. And He created a perfect place for them – a place that reflected His glory. He gave them everything they could need or want for happiness. BUT they listened to God’s enemy. They didn’t really believe God’s gifts to them were good enough for them. So they turned their backs on God, and they lost their perfect place to live and their perfect friendship with God. Now they could see pain and futility and death in their future.

Read: Genesis 2:8-9, 16; 3:1, 6-13, 16-19 (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Romans 5:12.

April 18, Monday before Easter (Five candles lit before reading)

Read: Usually God holds back His anger over sin. But one time He let it loose, so we would know how serious it is to turn our backs away from God and toward darkness, and so we would know how great His wrath is against sin. BUT He did not totally destroy His creation. He showed us His mercy, through Noah.

Read: Genesis 6:5-9, 11-14 (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Genesis 6:17-22; 7:12, 23; 8:1, 20-22; 9:12-15

April 19, Tuesday before Easter (Four candles lit before reading)

Read: Even before the world was created, God knew that Jesus would be the Way, the Truth, and the Life for all who believed in Him. But God didn’t just ignore His people then, waiting until the time came for Jesus. No, He gave them a way to be forgiven. If they offered sacrifices from a heart of worship, they could renew their friendship with God as they proved their reliance on Him. BUT people did not rely on God. Some did not follow His way of sacrifice and worship. And there was an even deeper problem. Many may have followed the outward ritual, but they didn’t trust God in their hearts. They didn’t love Him. They didn’t live lives that reflected His glory.

Read: Leviticus 1:1-4; Psalm 51:16-17; Jeremiah 7:21-26 (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Jeremiah 7:27-28

April 20, Wednesday before Easter (Three candles lit before reading)

Read: God wants people to be happy. And the only way we can be truly happy is by following His instructions. So He gave us His Word, His written Word, to make very clear to us where our life comes from and how we can keep it. BUT again and again we think our ideas are better than God’s. And we turn from life to death.

Read: Psalm 19:7-11; Daniel 9:4-6 (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Daniel 9:7-11

April 21, Thursday before Easter (Two candles lit before reading)

Read: God made very sure that we could understand who He is, what He is like, and what He wants for us and what He wants from us. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus. Now we don’t have just the written Word, we have the Living Word – a real person. When people watched Jesus, they were seeing God. BUT even God Himself, God in person, was rejected. People hated Him and rejected His message from God.

Read: John 3:16; Luke 2:6-7; Isaiah 53:3; (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Mark 10:32-34

April 22, Good Friday (One candles lit before reading)

Read: This was the darkest day in history. The Son of God Himself was killed by people who weren’t satisfied simply to reject Him; they couldn’t stand to have Him exist. They thought they could put God out of existence.

Read: Mark 15:22-25; Acts 7:51-53; 2:22-23; (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Isaiah 53:4-6

April 23, Saturday before Easter (No candles. No readings. Let this serve as a reminder of the emptiness experienced by Jesus’ followers between his death and resurrection.)

April 24, Easter Sunday (Begin with no candles lit)

Read: HE IS GOD! He cannot stay dead. HE IS ALIVE. The true Glory of God shines in the world. The Light has won! The Eternal Light! The Bright Morning Star! The Light of the World!

Read: Matthew 28:5-6; (LIGHT ALL THE CANDLES) Colossians 1:15-23; 1 Peter 1:3-4



Adapted from Lenten Lights by Noel Piper,

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