One of the best parts of my job is putting together prayer services for our K-5 students. It is amazing how 200 kids singing and dancing to God songs can really lift your spirits. This past week we spent our prayer service talking about Lent. Lent can be difficult to talk about with young learners, but I also think it is an important conversation to have.
After a few songs and readings, I began my reflection with some small rocks. I had a student hold them and I kept piling them on. Eventually, I added larger rocks and we had to put them in a bin for her to hold. They were heavy. I compared these rocks to our sins. A small rock might be lying to parents or stealing something from a sibling. But eventually those small sins will turn into larger sins. And when those sins begin to pile up, we start to feel weighed down and our relationship with God begins to suffer.
We then turned our conversation to the three Lenten words- prayer, fasting, and giving. Often times we only talk about what we are giving up for Lent- chocolate, gossip, etc., and we forget about prayer and fasting. We spent time on those three words and discussed WHY we pray, fast, and give during Lent. And ultimately, it is so we can grow our relationship with God. So, we talked about ways we can be better people. We discussed different forms of prayer. We chatted about how we can be of service to others, even within our own homes. We talked about those sins, those rocks, that weigh us down. We then filled three large posters with ways we can grow our relationship with God this Lent through prayer, fasting, and giving. Seeing the students fill the posters was truly a magnificent thing. From fasting from the iPad time to giving time to visit with a neighbor, it was a beautiful testament to what students are capable of. We then moved the poster into the school for students to add to, and remind themselves what their focus should be during the 40 days of Lent.
During Lent I also have my students will out a reflection journal and we always put up a hallway display with the Stations of the Cross to remind students the meaning of the season. I’ve also created a few resources to help make Lent more meaningful for you and your students. Check them out here.