This is the first lesson in a series that explores words frequently used during the Easter liturgical season. The words covered in this series are resurrection, joy, completeness, and victory.
Setting: The messages were written to be shared during the children’s message time of a worship service. The assumption is that the leader will have no more than 5 minutes per talk, meaning that pedagogically we can drop seeds of ideas in children’s minds but not do any deep dives on the content. That setting also means that the message has to be accessible for 5-year-olds to understand, but also has the opportunity to be instructive to all the adults listening in the congregation.
Supplies needed: Printed copies of the 4 pictures included with Week 1.
Note: Any text written in italics is either instructions to the speaker or the answer to a given question. Always allow kids a chance to provide the answer before giving it to them. Whenever possible, positively affirm their contributions to the conversation.
Good morning, everyone…
Quick question — who still has uneaten Easter candy at home? Pause to let kids respond. Easter is a big day for us here in the church, but did you know that Easter is more than a single day, it’s actually a whole season?! It’s the season of spring outside, it’s the season of Easter here at the church. We keep celebrating Easter for 50 days. For the next few weeks, I want us to talk about some churchy words that we might hear a lot during this season. Today we’re going to talk about the word “resurrection.”
Who knows what resurrection means? Let kids respond. It means to rise from the dead. How does that make you feel? Let kids respond; validate their responses.
Resurrect means to come back to life. And in the church, we believe that Jesus was killed, his body died, and he was resurrected; he came back to life. That’s what we talked about on Easter Sunday.
That was one specific event, at one moment in history. Was that it? Did God say, “OK, I’m done with resurrection now”? Pause to let kids respond. I don’t think so. No person has been resurrected ever since, death is very much still part of our human lives, but I think God keeps working on resurrection, bringing new life in other ways. I have some pictures to help us think about this.
- Adapt the start of this sentence depending on your local geography. Show picture 1 and picture 2, if appropriate. In the part of the country where we live, how do trees look in winter? Pause to let kids respond — pretty dead. And how do they look in spring and summer? Pause to let kids respond — really alive! So maybe we can see that pattern of life coming after death all around us in nature every year.
- Here’s another nature example. Hold up picture 3. Have you ever heard of the fire poppy? It’s part of a group of plants called “fire followers” — their seeds lie dormant (meaning they don’t grow, they don’t do anything) for years until the ground above them burns, like in a wildfire, and then heat or the smoke or the charred soil signal the seeds that it’s time to grow. We only see the life of a fire poppy after the death and destruction of a fire. Life coming from death (isn’t nature amazing?!)
- But we don’t just see resurrection in nature. I have one more example for you. Hold up picture 4. Can you tell where this picture was taken? Pause to let kids respond. It’s a little confusing because the biggest thing in this picture is a stained-glass window, which we usually see in church, but the table underneath it is the kind of table you sit on in a doctor’s office. Do we usually see those two things in the same place? Pause to let kids respond. Not really. This is a picture of a doctor’s office that is in a building that used to be a church! Sometimes churches close or move but their building remains and this one found a new purpose, it is now a place where doctors can nurture people and help them grow. So buildings can be resurrected and have new life too.
Resurrection tells us that our God brings life from death. That’s what resurrection means. Even if it’s a mystery to us, God is always at work, doing new things, and that’s a wonderful part of our faith to celebrate.
Will you repeat after me as we pray? (Speak one line aloud at a time, allow kids and congregation to echo before saying the next line.)
thank you for Jesus’ resurrection.
Help us see
your continuing resurrecting
work all around.