For most of us, the last week marked a painful anniversary. There has been a meme going around different social media sites stating that “last year this time was our last normal week and no one knew it.” This is a fitting statement as in the United States we are coming up on the one-year anniversary of how the pandemic’s formal arrival has shifted our lives long-term.
Looking back on my childhood, I distinctly remember two things about the season of Lent. The first was choosing to give up something that I enjoyed for forty days (typically this was chocolate, candy, or even a favorite TV show). The second thing was, once Lent was over, the fun of Easter egg hunts, dressing up in our Sunday best, and finally being able to enjoy whatever it was that I had sacrificed for so many weeks. I knew the main reason behind the traditions—Jesus’ death and resurrection—but I don’t think I ever fully understood what Lent was really all about. This led me to wonder what children today know about Lent. So I enlisted help from my friends to ask their own children this important question.
During the forty days of Lent, Christians of all ages may choose to give up something of value in order that they may spend more time focusing on the Word of God and prayer. How can leaders in the church help kids observe Lent? What are some developmentally appropriate activities for kids during this time of repentance? Here are four ways that you can help kids at your church observe Lent.