In thinking about a children's sermon I was to do for Lent, the question kept arising in my mind about how to talk to little children about Lent. Finally, I decided to use homophones (words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of their spelling). Various words such as "road" and "rode" were written on a chalkboard for the children. They were very eager to read the words and give the definitions.
At last, the words written were "lint" and "Lent". Definitions for "lint" included "balls on my sweater" and "fuzzy stuff under the bed". The word "Lent" was harder for them to define and not as easy for the person giving the sermon. The word "Lent" encompasses so much more than just "the 40 days before Easter". The children were asked to think about something for which they did a lot of preparation, such as a trip, a party, or the first day of school. Lent was explained as a time of important preparation of our hearts and minds to understand and know fully the breadth and depth of the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us so that we could be close to God.
Perhaps, however, the greatest lesson for children about Lent is to watch the adults in their lives to see how we observe Lent. Are we reading the Bible, attending worship, and putting Christ at the centre of our lives? Can we allow ourselves to grasp fully the meaning of His sacrifice and the blessing it holds for each of us?
1 Corinthians 5:6b-8 – Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast — as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. (NIV)
Prayer: Our Father God, You came to us then in the flesh of Your Son Jesus Christ, and You come to us today through the Holy Spirit. Help us to become aware of what is "lint" in our lives so that, in the spirit of the true "Lent", we may allow You to cleanse and prepare our hearts and minds. May we truly grasp the significance of the sacrifice of Your Son for our salvation. Thank You for such a great blessing as to be able to call Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.