Lent is the season of preparation for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts through Holy Saturday (the day before Easter). Traditionally, Christians have observed Lent by devotion, fasting, repenting, and giving. We can invite our children to join us as we observe this season, as we prepare our hearts and our lives for Easter.
Thanks to Kimberlee Conway Ireton for her plan that I used to develop these Kid’s Devotions.http://www.stchristophers-mn.org/storage/files/family-devotions-for-lent.pdf
As we get closer to the Easter, Jesus tells a story of a King who forgave a huge debt (million dollars) to a servant, but this servant did not provide this same mercy and forgiveness to a servant who owed him.
Ask the children…
What did the King do when he found out that his servant didn’t have mercy and forgive this smaller debt like he had been forgiven a larger debt?
“Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.” (Matthew 18:31-34)
Who could owe us a debt as large as the one Our heavenly Father has forgiven us? The answer is obvious, no one. During Lent we are to remember how big a debt we have been forgiven and how much God loves us to do that. And in turn we are to look at our own lives for those who need our mercy. For if we do not have mercy on others then our hearts will become hard and we will not be able to receive the mercy from our heavenly Father.
Ask your children if their hearts are in danger of becoming hard like the servant? Is there anyone they are holding a grudge against? Ask them to hold out their hand in a fist. Tell them that is like what holding a grudge is like, a closed fist, a closed heart. Have them open their hand. That is what mercy does, it opens our hands and our hearts. Have them open their hands and speak mercy and forgiveness out loud on anyone who they are holding a grudge against.
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.