This year I have been trying to be intentional about preparing our hearts for Resurrection Sunday. While we countdown the days in great anticipation for Christmas and there are festivities everywhere we look, it is not typically the same for Easter. But yet, as Christians the real reason to celebrate is because of the Resurrection. Here are a few of the books and music we have been enjoying to help us prepare our heart and help us understand the sacrifice the Lord made for us.
Caleb's Colt by Jill Briscoe is a book I found at a garage sale but I did not find a picture online. It is a fun story for children told by Caleb, the owner of the donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem.
Joel...a boy of Galilee by Annie Fellows Johnston is a Lamplighter book that was one of our favorite read-alouds. We aren't currently reading it but it is perfect for this time of year as Joel encounters Jesus. You know it is a good book when I get choked up while reading it to the children. While an older child could read this on their own I tend to like to read as many books as possible aloud as a family. It is a truly special time together.
The Very First Easter by Paul Maier has been on our shelf for years and I always like coming back to it. The pictures are well done and it tells the miraculous account in story form with parents explaining it to their son incorporating scripture references. We read through it a portion a day otherwise it can get long for the little ones.
Benjamin's Box by Melody Carlson -- this simple story corresponds nicely with the Resurrection Eggs. The first year we had the book I made my own filled eggs but alas, things always disappear around here and so this year I did buy the eggs as they come in a hard plastic container and I hoped it would help them stay put. The title page of each section has a picture of the colored egg that should be opened for that day.
Our new favorite for this year is Amon's Adventure by Al Ytreeride. We have gone through the Jotham trilogy over the years during Advent and were delighted that he "finally" wrote one for Lent. It is the story of Jotham's son and is filled with adventure and characters you will remember from the previous books. This is one to be read as a countdown to Resurrection day with 28 chapters but it is hard to read only one chapter a day. I have found George sneaking off with it to read ahead more than once.
Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada -- While we do sing hymns at our church I really enjoy this series of books helping children to memorize wonderful hymns of the faith and know the story behind them. This is one that we pull out a hymn or two to learn each year. It comes with an orchestrated CD of the hymns sung by children along with Joni and Bobbie.
More preparations yet to come this week with hopefully a new tradition that I will share more about. I hope in this next week you too are anticipating Easter.