4/8/09

Making an Impact at Easter!


For 3 ½ years I’ve opened my home to 6 very special girls.  I call them my Balcony Girls and each time we meet, the girls learn a life lesson. 

Tomorrow being Maundy Thursday, I want to share with you a very simple, easy, valuable lesson that you can share with children this Easter week!
 
I believe it’s the most important lesson that our children will ever learn.
 
It goes like this.
 
Betrayal
Your friend, who you’ve known and trusted for years, has betrayed you. You are shocked and cannot believe it has happened. The daggers go deep into your heart and it really hurts. Betrayal separates, divides and causes strife. It’s very painful when a friend betrays you. It hurts even worse when it is someone whom you consider to be a best friend!
 
Recently my Balcony Girls learned a lesson on Love. It was so appropriate to learn it on Maundy Thursday, as we talked about the feelings of betrayal that Jesus experienced.

 

A bag of money
I randomly handed each girl an item to hold.  And we started the lesson with a bag of money.
 
Bag of money
Small donkey
Plastic rooster
Cross
Handmade sign (Jesus, King of Nazareth)
Crown of thorns
Large nail
Small rock

 
These items, with symbolic meaning, each lead up to the next question, and then the next item …
 
How betrayal feels
We talked about how, when you are sometimes at your weakest (tired, weary, exasperated), it’s easy to pick apart a friendship - to find things irritating to you.
 
It’s easy to disagree with your friend and argue – and then your emotions get the best of you. You start having bad feelings toward that friend and before long, bitterness and unforgiveness have crept in – and division starts taking place in your friendship!
 
A friend, who you always stood by--you have now turned on.
 
Sold for money
This very thing happened to Jesus on Maundy Thursday, when Judas, once a very close friend, let resentment and disagreements settle in his heart. It mounted to hatred toward the person that he once loved, so that he eventually sold his Master for a bag of money.
 
Betrayal happened in a very startling way.
 
Easter story comes alive
We moved through the group and discussed the rest of the Easter items in the girls' hands, and their meanings, and we walked through the Easter Story like we were there.
 
Having something tangible to hold on to, the girls listened intently while I explained the symbolic meanings and how they related to Easter.
 
This lesson of love ended with the stone.
 
And the stone ended with resurrection!

 

Learn forgiveness
This story of death, forgiveness and new life was perfect for illustrating our friendships with one another. Sometimes we let things get blown out of proportion in friendships, and then we find ourselves in betrayal and disloyalty.
 
I encouraged the girls to learn to choose the route of forgiveness. To remember the bad feeling of betrayal, but to also know the beautiful impacting lesson of forgiveness.
 
Creating a lesson that our kids will easily understand and that will bring impact is the outcome I’m looking for!
 
You can read my exact Balcony Girl’s Lesson of Love from last year,
here.  Or other Balcony Girls lessons on my sidebar.

17 comments:

Runner Mom said...

This was such a great life lesson for the girls! I've used portions of it with my kindergarten children at our church using resurrection eggs! Love the pictures!! You know what, I think I will borrow your idea to use with my High School girls' Bible study on Monday night--it's the day after Easter, so it's still fresh in their minds! Thanks so much!

Hugs,
Susan

duchess said...

Such a special lesson and a very important one for us to teach our children.
Thanks.

Gwyn Rosser said...

WOW ! I needed that lesson today. It made me realize the very thing that has happened, very slowly, between myself and one of my best friends. Thank you for the very powerful lesson. I'm just going to take a deep breath, forgive and renew that relationship.
Gwyn Rosser @ The Pink Tractor

Sandy Toes said...

What a wonderful and impactful lessons you share with the girls! I just love what you do with them! It's wonderful!
sandy toe

ValleyGirl said...

Wonderful, WONDERFUL lesson. A beautiful way to tell the Easter story with a great parallel to our lives.

ellen b. said...

Beautiful lessons Sandy! We all need to remember how important forgiveness is in our Christian life, from the very beginning of our walk till the last day on earth we are forgiven and we have to forgive...

Alisa Lucas-Brown said...

Sandy,
This is a great lesson. What a wonderful way to capture the attention of a youngster and plant faith. I hope you don't mind if I copy this and use it with my Sunday School class. :-)
Alisa

Courtney said...

Wow! This is such a great way to act out the lessons and truths of the Bible! Thank you so much for sharing.

Sarah said...

This is such a great lesson to learn. I think it is especially important because (as you have pointed out to your girls) it is so easy for us females to tear each other down, rather than support each other. Betrayal hurts so much, but forgiveness can be found, as the story of the Resurrection illustrates.

Thank you for this today!

LIMOM said...

You are amazing. The love of faith and traditions you are bringing to these girls is a gift they will treasure all their lives.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Sandy, I hope you & your family have a wonderful & blessed Easter! xoxo

kathi said...

Love how you share your life with the "Balcony Girls!" This is a precious lesson too.

The Bloom Girls said...

Sandy,
The Balcony Girls are blessed to have you. Your message reaches even further with your willingness to share your lessons with this group of yound ladies on your blog.
I've been reading for months and have been so inspired by your leadership and faith based posts.
Thank you!

Nola
The Bloom Girls
Nashville, TN

Anonymous said...

Sandy,

God is really using you. Thank you for pouring into those girls' lives and sharing ways for us to do the same.

~Amanda

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your Balcony Girls posts. I heard there are talks of a BG book - I would buy a million of them to give to everyone I know. I can't wait!!!! Hurry, hurry, we are all growing up. Although you are never too old to learn new lessons. :-)

Wendi
wbrant@nc.rr.com

Lorrie said...

Such a great lesson that helps us realize the real lessons of Easter.
Blessings
Lorrie

Laurie said...

Thank you for such a wonderful lesson. It doesn't just apply to the younger girls does it?!

Many blessings to you and your family as you enjoy this Easter weekend...

Laurie