Lent and Fasting
Bible: Isaiah 58, Matthew 6:16-17
This time of year is called Lent. Lent is a time we remember the thing Jesus did for us. (Draw a cross on the board.) Whose sins did He die for? -ours. Why? -because He loves us. He wants us to be close to God too! What did Jesus give up for us?- His life. During Lent we give up something we like and pray when we remember that thing. When you give up something you like to Jesus, you are fasting.
How do we start fasting?
1. Think about things you like. What are some of those things? Choose one.(Be sure it is practical) Examples: stuffed bear, dolls, jewelry, paint/crayons, ice cream, candy, TV… (Nothing that will endanger relationships or bring any injury to the child/others. Remember if they are using it to get out of school, work or healthy food, it isn’t a “For God!” It is for themselves.)
2. This week, when you see that thing you are giving-up, pray thanks to Jesus and don’t pick it up.
3. Say, “I give this to Jesus” This is called fasting.
Have the children choose something they would like to give to Jesus this week and write it down on one of the treasure cards to place in the box. When they finish their craft tape them on the wall. Have them choose something they will fast from each week and put it in their treasure box.
Here is a way to help you remember how to FAST:
Fasting: choosing not to have something you want for God
1.For God: Every time you think of that thing, “Pray and give it to God.”
2.Adore: Choose something you adore. The more you love it the more you will think/pray to God
3.Secret: The bible says not to make faces or complain. It is a choice for God.
4.Time: Choose a time, for us it is lent
There is something else that is very important when we fast. We need to remember to pray. Does anyone know what prayer is? -Prayer is talking to God. (Have a Telephone there.) So this is how it works. I see the thing I said I was going to give to God (The thing I am fasting from) I want it. But instead of picking it up, I pray. (Pick up the phone and pretend to talk to God in prayer.) Tell Him you are giving that thing that you are fasting from (you add your thing) to Him and then walk away from it. If you see the thing you are fasting from, pray again. Every time you see that thing-call God again and give it ti Him. The more you “Adore” or like that thing the more you are going to remember to pray. Pick something that you really love! But be sure to keep your promise to God.
Materials: an Old telephone, Large piece of paper and marker to write the children’s answers down as they yell them out. (If you have a chalk board, just be sure you have chalk.)
Important Point: Fasting is giving something you really like to Jesus.
Direction: Print out one Lent is for Jesus and Lent Treasure Box for each child and two Lent Treasures for each child. Cut the Treasure Box out and fold on the dashed lines so that the design is on the outside. Glue the back middle section of the treasure box to the rectangle on the Lent is for Jesus page. Glue the sides of the middle box and fold the bottom up to create a pocket. Cut out a treasure for each child. You should write something they would like to give to Jesus this week on the treasure. Hang them up on the wall. Next week we will add another treasure to the box. You may want to work ahead and cut all of the treasures out and put them in a place you will find them in the coming weeks. Have the children color the treasure chests. Have “jewels with flat surfaces on the back” to glue on the treasure chests with glitter glue. If you don’t have or can’t find (I got mine at the dollar store.) the jewels, punch out holes in tinfoil or wrapping paper with a hole punch. The little round tinfoil pieces make great jewels.
Materials: Glitter glue, flat-sided jewels or tinfoil/wrapping paper and a hole punch, glue sticks, scissors, and crayons
Fasting before (Click here to download pdf)
These children are very creative when deciding on “fasting options.” They first think they will get more of the thing they pick , so it is a favorite. After you explain that you can’t have the thing you pick, they choose something they should like, but don’t. (i.e. sisters, homework or vegetables) They are convincing too. “I really love my sister, but I want to give her to Jesus this week.” –Smile. Jesus would not want them to hurt relationships, but they can pray for their sister each day this week. When they get really smart they choose something they are already grounded from or something they think you know they like but, they don’t really. Part of their journey to understanding giving something to Jesus.