Dear Godly Play Families:
Lent is the season when we prepare for Easter. In Godly Play, we spend the six weeks of Lent revisiting pivotal moments in the life of Jesus and his journey to the cross and resurrection. The Faces of Easter lessons (7 in total) help children prepare for the Mystery of Easter. The story is presented using seven plaques.
We add a little more to the story each week, by showing and re-telling the previous weeks’ plaques. Each week we begin with the first plaque and add the next ….and then the next…. until we arrive at the last week when the children hear and see all seven plaques.
Then after we hear that week’s presentation, instead of our usual wondering questions, we invite each child in turn to choose something from our Godly Play stories around the room to help tell more of the story they just heard. We invite the child to place what they chose next to the plaque. Adding the items helps integrate the whole room with Jesus’ life and death. It is always surprising to see what the children choose!
At home you won’t have the Godly Play materials, perhaps you could ask your child if they can think of something in the GP room they might add, or perhaps they could add something of theirs, or perhaps they could draw something to help tell the story.
I would then invite you to spend some time afterwards hearing from your child what they thought was important about the story. Please listen and affirm their thoughts. Any idea should be welcomed – there are absolutely no wrong answers!
Our Godly Play children know that the Mystery of Easter is SO great that it requires SIX (!!!!!!) weeks to get ready, and that the Mystery of Easter is SO large that it cannot be contained into only one Sunday – the Season of Easter spills over into SIX (!!!!!) more Sundays!
The video link enclosed shows the entire story (all seven plaques), in sequence plaque by plaque.
Have fun experiencing this with your child(ren)!
Here is a YouTube video by the Godly Play Foundation telling the Faces of Easter stories.
I invite you to watch it by yourself first. Then use it to host your own weekly Godly Play session. Here is a suggested framework for your home session:
1. Light a candle and say our “finger prayer” together (we usually demonstrate, each finger
reminding the children who we are praying for and invite names at each finger, then say it all together).
- Thumb: (pointing to self) – “we pray for people close to us”
- Pointer: (pointing away from ourselves) – “we pray for people who are far away”
- Middle Finger: (holding our hand up it points upstairs, usually to the church above ☺) – “we pray for our church family”
- Ring finger: (it is the weakest finger) – “we pray for those who are sick, or need our help”
- Baby finger: (the smallest) – “we pray for the youngest and smallest”
2. Watch the video, from the beginning to where you want to end that week
3. Invite your child to add to the story
4. Listen to what they think was the most important part of the story
5. Blow out the candle and send the prayers into the room around us to be with us in the trail of smoke
Please give them all a hug from Ann, Geraldine and Kim – we miss seeing them!
Here is a very brief overview of each plaque:
Plaque #1: we focus on the face of Christ as a newborn child
Plaque #2: we learn of Jesus as a boy, and see the face of Christ as the One who was lost and found.
Plaque #3: we focus on the face of Christ as the One who was baptized and blessed, as we hear of his baptism in the Jordan River by his cousin John the Baptist and a voice from above saying, “This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased.”
Plaque #4: we hear of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert wilderness and the temptations he was subject to there, and how Jesus begins his ministry in the world after he left the desert.
Plaque #5: we focus on the face of Christ as healer and parable-maker by remembering Jesus’ healing of blind Bartimaeus: “When you are touched by Christ, you are changed forever.”
Plaque #6: focuses on the face of Christ as he enters Jerusalem and offers the Twelve—and us—the bread and wine.
Plaque #7: we focus on the faces of Christ on the cross and on Easter.