Mini-Easter Celebration Sunday

Sunday 5

The six Sundays are not counted among the forty days of Lent because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” – a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

“For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”


Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, has shared her experience of making  an Easter garden which she has cleverly called ‘A Visual Parable.’ Ann initiated her journal entry with these thoughts:

“Our beginning, and our mortal fall, began in a garden.
Christ’s beginning to right that fall began in a garden, passion anguish dripping great drops of blood.
Our new beginning began in a garden, stone rolled away to that echoing tomb, shroud whispering in the wind.”

For today’s celebration, let’s give praise for the new beginning that has emerged through Christ’s sacrifice by creating our own visual parable, which will provide,  as Ann adds, “a miniature remembering of the grief of old beginning, the dazzling wondering of new beginnings.”

Family Craft – Plant an Easter Garden

Step 1 – Fill a round, shallow planter with soil.

Step 2 – Lay out a path of stones leading to the ‘tomb,’ which can be a simple arrangement of three rocks.

Step 3 –  Insert a small cup into the soil to hold the water for the pond.

Step 4 – Add plants, a cactus or two and moss, as desired.

Ann offers these final instructions for making your Easter Garden: A Visual Parable complete:

“Come Palm Sunday, we’ll plant some seeds, resurrection hope in the dark of the earth, and line the path with smalls candles, miniature garden torches, for the Light is coming. And we’ll begin the path and each day light another wick… until Good Friday, when all went dark.

And in the evening of Good Friday, the children will shape a caterpillar out of modeling wax, swath it in a small square of silk, tuck it in the moss outside the grotto with stone over the entrance….

On Saturday, we’ll remember and we’ll wait.

Come Sunday, Easter morn early, in first light dawning, we’ll roll back the tomb, see only the husk of silk left behind, a butterfly a light in the branches of tree over the Tomb and we too will ask, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (LUKE 24:5He is alive!

This is our week to walk the path from Lent to Easter, from dark to Light, from cocoon confinement to conquering in Christ and the Easter garden will unfold, a parable, a living visual of the metamorphosis of all the cosmos.”

Mini-Easter Celebration Sunday

Sunday 4

The six Sundays are not counted among the forty days of Lent because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” – a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

But he has given proof of what he is like. He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven. He gives you crops in their seasons. He provides you with plenty of food. He fills your hearts with joy.”

— ACTS 14:17 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

Let this video (linked below) inspire you and awaken your soul to the joy of the created world which He has given to us.

Kayden + Rain | Little Girl Experiences Her First Rainfall

Then let joy fill your heart as you celebrate today. You might choose to take a walk outside in His creation to witness, experience and celebrate how God has made himself known to all, through His kindnesses and provisions.

Mini-Easter Celebration Sunday

Sunday 3

The six Sundays are not counted among the forty days of Lent because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” – a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.”
— ISAIAH 11:1 (NASB)

The ‘Jesse Tree‘ represents the family tree, or genealogy of Jesus Christ. It tells the story of God’s salvation plan, beginning with creation and continuing through the Old Testament, to the coming of the Messiah. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1 and many retell this story during Advent.  With this tradition in mind, here is a way to reinvent the Jesse Tree for Easter.  Its called the “Jesus Tree.”

Family Craft – The Jesus Tree

In celebration of His sacrificial death on the tree, and the new life found only in Christ, you may choose to make a “Jesus Tree” as a symbolic way to mark the days leading up to Easter.

1. Gather branches (like dogwood, pussy willows or forsythia) in a container (like a vase or pitcher)

2. Hang decorative eggs from the branches as a symbol of new life in Christ. Because of His sacrificial death on the tree, we can have new life in Him. Or you can cut out fruit-shaped cards and write the names of people whom you are praying will receive His gift of grace.
Jesus Tree vase

3. Use the Jesus Tree as a natural opportunity to share with others about our only hope – the Gospel of Jesus Christ – when they visit your home throughout the Easter season.

Mini-Easter Celebration Sunday

Sunday 2

The six Sundays are not counted among the forty days of Lent because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” – a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.”

— ISAIAH 58:6-8 (The Message)

Our 40 Day journey into God’s heart for justice and compassion is about to enter into week three. How is it going so far?

Throughout the 40 days, Jesus will draw us closer, not only to seek and hear His heart’s desire, but to join Him in laying down our own lives to serve the serve  people who are marginalized by circumstances of poverty, oppression and injustice.

There may be some on this journey who have been inspired to begin something new, to venture out of their comfort zone and to serve God in a new way. Some may be experiencing the heavy burden of their sacrifice and perhaps wondering what they have gotten themselves into!  For all of us however, it is good to remember that God is delighted in those who faithfully commit to overcoming personal discomfort and instead chose to rely on His strength as we closely identify with those who are hurting.

“Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering … So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (HEBREWS 10:32-36 NLT)

Count it a privilege of living in ‘post-resurrection’ times when we have full knowledge that our hope in Christ is certain, that Jesus is alive and at work in the world and we are blessed to partner with him.

Today, let’s celebrate what we have experienced so far. Feel free to share comments, photos or videos of what has been happening in your own heart and life.

Mini-Easter Celebration Sunday

Sunday 1

The six Sundays are not counted among the forty days of Lent because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” – a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

“”I will forgive their evil ways, I will not remember their sins anymore.”

— JEREMIAH 31:34

Family Craft – Salt Dough Crown of Thorns
This is a fascinating activity to do as a family in celebration of the sacrifice of Christ while at the same time providing a visual reminder of our commitment to fasting, prayer and sacrifice. The idea is to have a visual representation of our sin (which are the toothpick thorns) placed into the crown of twisted dough.

Each day as we approach Easter,  a ‘thorn’ can be removed from the crown as a symbolic reminder of Christ’s sacrifice which has liberated us from sin. The crown should be free of thorns on Easter day and the wreath can now become a table centre piece. You may choose to decorate it with flowers or place a candle in the centre to represent new life and light. It may become a great conversation starter over Easter dinner as you share with one another what Christ’s sacrifice and the past 40 days of reflections have meant to you.


You can click on either picture for a great step-by-step tutorial on how to make the crown of thorns.