Fasting for Lent
Lent is the celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death
Bible: Isaiah 58, Matthew 6:16-17
Catechism: Why did God make you and all things?
–To glorify and enjoy God.
Rev 4:11 … You (Our God) are worthy to receive glory and honor and power. You are worthy because you created all things…Ps 19:1 The heavens tell about the glory of God. The skies show that his hands created them. NIrV
How can you glorify God?
(–Glorifying God is to be a friend of God and to do the things he does
Ecc 12:13 … Have respect for God and obey his commandments. That’s what everyone should do. NIrV
Psalm 37:4 Find your delight in the Lord. Then he will give you everything your heart really wants. NIrV
(Draw two cliffs with a large ravine in the middle. Write Heaven on one and Hell on the other.) Everyone on earth is going to go to one of these two places when they die. This is Heaven (point) and this is Hell (point to it). Which one do you want to go to? -Heaven, right? How are you going to get there? All of us have sinned and we deserve to go to Hell, so how do we get to Heaven? -through Jesus. What did Jesus do that would allow us to not get what we deserve? –Died on the cross. (Draw a picture of a cross over the ravine, so that those who believe in Jesus can walk across to Heaven.) When we believe in Jesus lets us go to Heaven. (walk your fingers over the cross/bridge.)
This time of year is called Lent. Lent is a time we remember the thing Jesus did for us. Whose sins did He die for? -ours. Why? -because He loves us. (Draw a heart over the cross.) He wants us to be close to God too! (Write God on the Heaven side.) What did Jesus give up for us? (point to the cross)- 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. You are showing God nothing you have is more important than 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