As I’ve proclaimed many times on this blog, Easter is my favorite holiday. I love all of the ways to celebrate, several of which I wrote about last year. And who could forget the beautiful, simple tablescapes Laura has inspired us with or her simple approach to beautifully colored Easter eggs, the sweet treats Easter gives us an excuse to indulge in… and even the many ways to use the leftover eggs!
The idea I want to share with you today is one I’d never heard of until recently, and it came at the perfect time for my family. Recently, I felt the Lord stirring in my heart, asking if I was focusing enough on “grace.” Those who are near to me know I sometimes still struggle to accept my own weaknesses and failures. With all of the correction, consequences, and instructions I provide to my young children, I’ve wondered if they are truly understanding the grace and forgiveness our Savior offers. I don’t want to teach my sons behavior modification; I want them to know that the kindness of the Lord leads us to repentance and that God’s rules are always for our good! I’m so thankful the Lord prompts me when my parenting pendulum is tilting to one side.
When a good friend shared the following Easter activity with me, I knew it was a great way to make grace tangible to my young boys. Jill Hardie has written a beautiful story entitled The Sparkle Egg about a boy learning how Jesus’ sacrifice impacts him. Here is the book’s summary (as shown on Amazon):
“Easter is coming, and Sam loves Easter! But this year, he is upset about a lie he told his parents. Even though he apologized and they forgave him, Sam can't shake the feeling that he is a bad kid for what he did. Meanwhile, his parents help him make a special Easter craft called a Sparkle Egg. His mom tells him to write anything he feels sorry about or ashamed of on a piece of paper and put it inside his Sparkle Egg.
On Easter morning, when he opens his Sparkle Egg expecting a surprise, Sam finds that it is empty! His parents explain that because Jesus died and rose again, we are forgiven. Like the tomb that first Easter Day, Sam's egg is empty — and Sam's wrongdoing is completely forgiven. Once he accepts this forgiveness fully, Sam realizes a truth: we can sparkle and shine with God's light when we let God's gift of grace into our hearts.
This touching story will strike a deep chord with readers of all ages, and the Sparkle Egg tradition will help readers and their families grasp the totality of God's perfect grace.”
The basic concept is that you read the book with your children, and then each person decorates a sparkle egg. Depending on their level, they may write a sentence or draw a picture of something that they feel guilty about. They then place they paper inside, knowing that it will be replaced with something that honors Christ. On Easter morning, they will wake up to the empty egg (because you removed the paper), and you explain what the cross and the empty tomb mean for each one of us who receives Jesus as our Savior! I think it is a beautiful illustration to explain the power of God’s grace and forgiveness. I plan on making my own egg, so my children know I still need Jesus’ forgiveness each and every day. I want them to know the Christian life is a walk, and sanctification is a journey. (You can still do this activity without the book, but I like the clear way the book communicates the concept to young ones.)
I hope this idea blesses your family or inspires you to focus on His grace in a new way this Easter!