**Note: scroll down to the end of this post to find out how to get the FREE printable reading plan and calendar!**
Have you ever wondered why we make a big to-do about the countdown leading up to Christmas, but Easter tends to get a major lack of fanfare?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good Advent calendar. However, Easter Sunday is the cornerstone of our faith. Without the death and resurrection, the baby born in the manger is just another baby. Right?
This is why I LOVE Lent.
Although it is not as commonly celebrated among some denominations, the observation of Lent seems to be on the rise in recent years, which is awesome! While it is definitely not mandated to observe, Lent is a wonderfully beautiful way to spend the time leading up to Easter in reflection and anticipation.
But how do you incorporate a 40+ day holiday with kids?
When I was thinking through how I would like to introduce the season of Lent to my young children, I knew I wanted to do two things: first, make it about Jesus and second, keep it simple.
If the goal of Lent is to direct your focus towards Jesus’ work on the cross, what a better way to do that than to follow Jesus on his own journey to the cross by reading his words each day?
40 days of meditating and reflecting on the wisdom, commands, rebukes, and comfort that Jesus spoke during his time on earth. 40 days of drawing closer to him through the reading, and the doing, of his words.
Now, if we were going to be successful at doing anything for 40+ days straight, it needed to be easy to follow and implement. I also wanted something that would give a visual to my kids of how many days we had left leading up to Easter. That is where the idea for a countdown calendar of some sort came from. Plus, each day has the verse already labeled on it, that way once you’re set up, you don’t have to do any more prep throughout the 40 days.
Setting up this devotional is easy!
First, print out the pages.
Then, cut out the pieces.
Finally, hang on the wall to create a path, placing the empty tomb at the end. Use the picture of Jesus to mark which piece of the path you are currently on.
The scriptures are listed in the general order of appearance in the Bible, but it doesn’t matter too much if a few get mixed around. Just try and start with the first one listed (Matthew 4:17) and use the pieces designated with the cross in the bottom right corner for Holy Week.
Since the 40 days of Lent do not include Sundays, there are five “Sunday pieces” with a large cross and “John 14:15” written underneath. Place these where the Sundays fall along your path and use them as a day to reflect back on what you read that week, brainstorming together ways you can actually live out the words Jesus spoke.
Well, are you ready to get started?! You can get this printable for FREE as a Steadfast Family subscriber. Sign up below! 🙂