Welcome to ROOTS at home for families
Resources for worshipping together at home
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© ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.
Happy Easter everyone! Wherever you find yourself and whoever you find yourself with, be assured that we can still find ways to share the joy of Easter – and it is perhaps even more important to do so.
We hope that these resources will give you the opportunity to celebrate together, but also to spend time delighting in God’s grace. See Bible notes for more information on the passages for today.
we come to you
because you turn doubt into hope,
tears into laughter
and fear into fearlessness.
We come to you
because on Easter Sunday
and on every other day,
we can say, ‘Jesus is alive!’
Matthew 28.1-10: The risen Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and her friend, and tells them to go and share the good news.
Beforehand, practise together the different facial expressions the people in the story might have made, such as: grief, shock, fear, joy, excitement.
Tell the Easter story, pausing at the points marked by asterisks and encourage everyone to make the appropriate expression for that part of the story.
Alternatively, you can tell the story using sounds or by acting it out.
Geoff Hays, www.geoffrey-hays.co.uk
It was early in the morning, on the first day of the week. Mary Magdalene and her friend, who was also called Mary, were on their way to Jesus’ tomb. As they drew near, they saw two guards sitting there.*
Without warning, an angel came down from the sky like a bolt of lightning.* He was dressed in dazzling white clothes*, and the earth shook as he landed and rolled back the stone at the entrance to the tomb.*
The guards were terrified!* First, they shook with fear*, and then they fainted.* ‘Do not be afraid,’ the angel said to the two Marys.* He was sitting on the stone. ‘I know who you’re looking for*. You came to see Jesus, who was killed on the cross. He isn’t here any more; he’s been raised from the dead. Come, and see where his body lay.’*
The two Marys didn’t know what to think. They were both scared of the angel*, and excited by what he said.* The angel continued speaking, ‘When you have seen that Jesus is gone, go and tell the disciples the news. Jesus will go ahead of them to Galilee, and they will see him there.’*
Still frightened, but also full of joy, the women ran from the tomb to find the disciples.* They didn’t get far, though, because suddenly, Jesus was there, standing in front of them.* ‘Greetings!’ said Jesus. The women fell to the ground, took hold of Jesus’ feet and worshipped him.* Jesus spoke again. ‘Do not be afraid,’ he said. ‘Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee.* They will see me there.’
Talk together with children
- What was the most amazing part of the story?
- How do you think you would feel if you were one of the women
who visited the tomb?
- How can we share the good news that Jesus is alive?
Talk together with young people
- What sort of emotions did the two women go through during the course of the first Easter morning?
- How do we share our own good news stories?
- How can we share the joy of Easter in a world where news is driven by speculation and personal opinion?
More activities, songs and prayers
Play a game to share the joy of Easter
You will need: masking tape, solid eggs (wooden, chocolate or hard-boiled), wooden spoons.
- Use masking tape to mark out lanes on the floor, for players to race in, and add start and finish lines.
- Give everyone an egg and a wooden spoon. Ask the children to kneel behind the starting line, placing their egg on the line.
- When the race begins, players use their spoon to gently guide the egg along their lane to the finishing line.
- Players must remain on their knees and only tap their own egg.
- The race works well as a relay race.
Sharing the message of Easter with others
You will need: sheets of A4 card, scissors, pens, coloured tissue paper, glue, envelopes.
- Pre-prepare by folding the sheets of card in half to form a greetings card for each person. Cut a large, cross-shaped hole in the front cover of each card.
- Ask everyone to write ‘The joy of Easter shines through’ on the front, and a message inside their card.
- Inside the card, they can then cover the cross ‘window’ carefully with tissue paper, creating a stained-glass effect. Help the children to carefully stick and seal all the edges with glue.
- Leave for a few minutes to dry. Then encourage the children to place the finished cards in the envelopes. Invite them to send their card to a friend or family member.
A simple craft activity for younger children
Provide Easter bunting made from card with the letters spelling out ‘Joy’ repeated as many times as needed to create the length to decorate your space. Invite everyone to decorate the pennant shapes with pens, stickers and sparkles.
The emoji Bible
Invite those with mobile phones to look at emojis and either draw them on paper or use them within a message on their phones to create a storyboard. Find suitable emoji images to represent each key point and create a sequence of emojis to tell the Easter story. When everyone has finished, invite people to share their stories with each other.
Give out foil-wrapped chocolate eggs. Ask everyone to unwrap their egg carefully and save the foil. As you read the story again, invite them to eat their egg and enjoy the taste. Then ask the young people to create a cross using their foil wrapper. Reflect together on the journey from the cross to the joy of Easter Day.
Jesus is risen!
Our world is full of happiness.
Yes! We want to sing and shout for…
To show this joy you could finish by singing Best news ever, MercyMe on Lifer.
Sing and listen
Preview songs on YouTube, buy online and download.
One two three, Little praise party on Happy day everyday
On that first Easter, God’s kids worship band on Easter wonder
He reigns, Newsboys on Adoration: the worship album
The passion, Hillsong worship on There is more
This is amazing grace, Phil Wickham on The ascension
See also Same Boat @ HOME
Live your faith
Share the joy of the good news by wishing as many people as you can ‘Happy Easter’.
Notes on the Bible story for parents and carers
- Matthew’s narrative of the resurrection comes at a time of great turbulence for Jesus’ followers. Jesus’ popularity and number of followers had been growing. He was hailed as the one who would restore Israel, as foretold by the prophet Jeremiah, and had entered Jerusalem in triumph; only days later to be tried and put to death on a cross. Excitement turned to grief, hope to fear and joy to disappointment.
- Matthew adds information to Mark’s account, specifically the earthquake and descent of the angel who rolls back the stone; it doesn’t have the ambiguity of Mark’s or John’s accounts.
- Mary Magdalene and her friend, also called Mary, take a significant role in the story. At a time when women did not have prominent roles in society, the angel, like Jesus, chooses unexpected people to do God’s work. Their function in the story is that of witnesses and, like the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well, they cannot keep their joy to themselves.
- The other readings for today hint at the events that Matthew writes about. Jeremiah anticipates the restoration of all Israel and picks up on the joy and worship that this will result in. Peter’s outline of the Gospel message in Acts 10 links our role with that of the two Marys – we are witnesses, and we are chosen by God. Like them, we should not keep the joy of Christ rising from the dead to ourselves.
Click on the image to view a bigger version.
Geoff Hays, www.geoffrey-hays.co.uk