It can be sad to remember people who have died, but its important for us to do. While we remember them, we also remember the new life that comes through Jesus. We remember God's promise that death will be defeated!
"Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:3-4)
Can you imagine this new reality? Whether we call it Heaven, Paradise, or the New Creation, we can trust that we will be filled with good things. Jesus gives us hope for the future.
- Do you know someone who has died? How do you remember them?
- What are some things that give you hope?
Let's read from Scripture.
Activity: In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Paul summarizes the gospel message in just four sentences! Find the following parts: Jesus' died, was buried, was raised, and appeared to his disciples.
- Write a four sentence summary of what it means to be a Christian. What are important things would you include? Think of your favorite Bible stories.
- Pre-readers: draw four pictures that you would use to share your faith.
Watch this video:
- Retell the Easter story in your own words. Can you use the word "resurrection" in a sentence?
- Think of a part of your life that is making you sad or upset. Does the Easter story change the way you view it? What brings you hope in that situation?
Even though the cross is a symbol of Jesus' death, it became a symbol of hope when Jesus was raised from the dead. Using whatever craft supplies you have at home, create a cross to hang on your wall to remind you that Jesus brings us new life. On one half, use "sad" designs, and on the other half use "joyful" designs to remind you that our sadness is turned to joy!
The kingdom of God is like a seed-- it may look small and lifeless, but it grows into a big and powerful plant, full of life. Go outside and do some gardening this weekend. Over time, the plants will transform, just as God transforms death into life.
Celebration of Life
Have you ever been to a funeral? Even though these are sad events, we celebrate the life of the one who died. We also celebrate the new life we have after death in Jesus. The celebrations give us hope even when we are sad.
We are experiencing a lot of losses right now because of COVID-19-- not just death, but loss of sports, jobs, vacations, and other meaningful events. Think of some of the good things going on in your life right now, even the smallest signs of hope. What are you grateful for? Throw a celebration to remember those things. You can decorate with streamers and balloons, make your favorite treats, and do something fun! Celebrate the life we have in Christ-- now and in the future.
Blessing for Memorial Day
Gracious God, you have said that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends (John 15:13). We give you thanks for all the courageous people who have lost their lives serving others. We remember all of our loved ones who have lost their lives, especially (name). Even though we are sad, we celebrate them and wait with hope for the new life you bring. Thank you for loving us so much. In Jesus' name, amen.