Journey with Jesus to the Cross: A Lenten Bible Reading Plan for the Family

**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.


Excuse the mess! 🙂

Well, are you ready to get started?! You can get this printable for FREE as a Steadfast Family subscriber. Sign up below! 🙂

Thankful for Who He Is – Psalm 136 Fall Banner Craft

Thankful for Who He Is - Psalm 136 Fall Leaf Banner Craft

Today I want to share with you a fun fall activity that we did recently. Not only was it a fun way to play with the pretty fall leaves, but it also was a great opportunity to get ready for Thanksgiving and dig into some theology – learning about who God is!

Here’s a video I made for the Steadfast Family Facebook page if you prefer to see the craft that way!

 

Okay, let’s get started!

Thankful for Who He Is - Psalm 136 Fall Leaf Banner Craft

 

First, you are going to want to collect some leaves. This is a whole activity in and of itself, so feel free to do it at a separate time. If you live in a climate that doesn’t have pretty leaves, never fear, just print some off online (like these or these)!

Thankful for Who He Is - Psalm 136 Fall Leaf Banner Craft

Once you’ve got all your leaves collected, pop them into your scanner and make a few copies. Now, you could skip this step, but I wanted our banner to last a while without the leaves getting all crumbled up and drying out. This was a fun way to accomplish that!

Thankful for Who He Is - Psalm 136 Fall Leaf Banner Craft

Next you are going to want to cut out the leaves. Which is a good opportunity to practice patience! haha 🙂

Thankful for Who He Is - Psalm 136 Fall Leaf Banner Craft

After all your leaves are cut out, it’s time for the Bible lesson portion. Open your Bible to Psalm 136. We read about the first half and that was the perfect amount for my almost 6 year old. Then, we talked about Thanksgiving and giving thanks to God for all the amazing things about Him and all the great things He does.

Thankful for Who He Is - Psalm 136 Fall Leaf Banner Craft

Then, I wrote on one of the biggest leaves: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is…”

Thankful for Who He Is - Psalm 136 Fall Leaf Banner Craft

Together, my son and I came up with things about God that we could be thankful for and we wrote each one on a leaf.

Thankful for Who He Is - Psalm 136 Fall Leaf Banner Craft

Once something is written on all the leaves, it is time to string them together. Cut two slits (by bending the leaf a bit and cutting with scissors) toward the top of the leaf and then string them all on a length of yarn or twine.

Thankful for Who He Is - Psalm 136 Fall Leaf Banner Craft

Once you are finished, hang your beautiful fall banner up to remind your family of all the wonderful things we are thankful for about our amazing God!

Thankful for Who He Is - Psalm 136 Fall Leaf Banner Craft

Bonus Note: Play the song “Forever” by Michael W. Smith. It is perfect for this activity and my kids love it!