Today the girls and I made our own first Easter garden. We coated and booted (it is cold this Eastertime!) and brought a big pail out to the garden behind our flat to gather sticks, a few rocks, and moss. Then we brought it all in to the table and set to work. We packed some potting soil into a large pottery dish, tipped a black plastic flowerpot (you could also use a tin can) on its side, and piled soil on top to make a hill. Then we replanted the moss we had dug all around it and placed some stones. Finally, we bound some sticks together to make crosses and placed them in the soil on top.
I had planned to use the time to discuss what Jesus did for us all on the cross and to marvel together at the miracle of the empty tomb that first Easter morning. And we did–but the discussion took an unexpected turn. While we made the crosses my oldest daughter wanted to know why there were three of them. So I told her how Jesus was executed alongside two criminals, even though he never did anything wrong. We talked about how Jesus didn’t deserve his punishment, though we deserve ours. And I told her how one of the criminals was mocking Jesus, but the other one called on Jesus to save him. And how our wonderful, compassionate Lord Jesus had mercy for him in the very last minutes of his life. When it was time to place the crosses, Harriet wanted to place the cross of Jesus. I was expecting Norah to protest at this. But she said, “I want to put the cross of the guy who was sorry for his sin and Jesus forgived him. I really like that guy!” I really like that guy, too, Norah.
Want to do this? It’s not too late for this year–in fact, Good Friday is the perfect day for a project like this one. It’s a great way, we found, to focus our thoughts on Jesus during this Holy Week.
a dish or tray
moss or grass, real or fake–we liked real moss (abundant in England!)
a dark cup, little pot, or tin can
a big stone, maybe several smaller ones to add detail
sticks and twine to make three crosses
lots of time to plant together, get very dirty, and talk about Jesus