This is an illustration that I picked up from a Facebook comment and used in 2015 at our main Easter service. It went very well – possibly because the third Easter Egg was 1kg. The children were reticent to volunteer for the start but by the time I was unveiling the second egg there was a queue and for the third a whole group of children at the front.
Hope you find it helpful:
Buy 3 Easter eggs with mini eggs filling. The 3 for £5 size are about right. You want ones in boxes and plastic ‘window’ is ideal but quite rare now! Carefully unwrap eggs, keeping the foil, boxes etc. Use a heated, sharp knife to cut each egg open along the ‘seal line’. If you have managed 6 complete halves, well done! If not don’t panic as you only need 4.
Break two halves into pieces, mould one piece of foil packaging into an egg shape, insert broken egg and put the whole lot back in the box (now you know why this is easiest with plastic inners in the boxes). This is Egg 1.
Take the next two halves, put them together into an egg shape and wrap and box that. Egg 2.
Now for the fun – take your remaining two halves, pour into one of them the mini eggs that came with the eggs and then add loads more. You want one shell with a mountian of mini eggs in it. Use a little melted cooking chocolate to reseal the other half shell onto the filled one. Wrap and pack as above. Egg 3.
Now for the Collective Worship. Ask teacher to choose a child.
Give them Egg 1 and ask them what they expect to find inside. Let them unwarp the egg. Mega disappointment as no mini eggs and just broken chocolate. Take the egg back, thank your helper and say that is how Jesus’ friends felt on the first Easter day. All broken, crushed and sad because Jesus was dead. (I’m sure you can work that bit out but keep it simple!).
You now need child helper 2 who gets to unwrap Egg 2. That is what Jesus friends found when they came to see where his body had been buried. Just an empty space. Still sad but now also confused.
Now for the fun bit: child helper 3 gets to open the last box and unwrap the whole egg but then you need to take the egg. Start to tell the story of the women at the tomb. They had been broken and sad, then confused and upset (hold up empty shell again). Then the most amazing thing happened. Jesus came and spoke to them. He was not dead any more he was alive! At that moment lift the full egg, twist to break and send chocolate everywhere. Enjoy the children’s delight and surprise and say ‘That is what Easter is about – new life and happiness from sorrow and sadness.’
Works every time (KS 1 or 2) and for All-Age Worship. No need to do too much teaching and theology – the eggs are an Easter parable and will draw your listeners in to wonder and work it out for themselves. Your choice and school rules as to what you do with the chocolate – hand little bits out as the children leave or put it all in the Staff Room.
Children sermon idea, takes some prep time…
“When we visited our son in San Antonio I saw the eggs they sell on the streets. I believe it is a Mexican tradition. I forget what they are called. I had never seen it before. Maybe someone in the southwest knows what I’m talking about. The eggs are hollow and filled with confetti or glitter, etc. The idea is to break them over people for good like, I believe.
Here’s what I did. The eggs are blown out (poke a small hole at the top and bottom of the raw egg and then blow through until all the contents squirt into a bowl.) Rinse them out and let them dry, then dye them or otherwise decorate them. Glue a small piece of tissue paper over one of the holes (the tissue becomes fairly transparent and isn’t really noticeable) and fill the egg (through the other hole) with glitter or confetti or anything else like that. Then glue the other opening with tissue paper. They look like regular old Easter eggs.
Discuss the symbolism of the egg as a tomb and as a symbol of new life.
Tell the kids you made some Easter eggs but you didn’t remember to boil them first (not a lie). Talk about what would happen if you cracked open a raw egg. You can play this up and talk about how you need to be VERY careful because the a so fragile and you would hate for someone to get raw egg all over themselves.
See if you can get a volunteer to let you crack the egg over their head, or toss it around and “accidentally” break it over one of the kids. Everyone is usually surprised that some thing completely different comes out – not what they expected.
Talk about the women who went to the tomb and found something different than they expected. “He is not here. He is risen! (Luke 24:6a) We had a lot of fun with it the times I did it.
Linda Eberly First UMC Bennington, VT
Posted on Sermon Discussion list at www.desperatepreacher.com
Tony Campolo tells the story of a black Baptist preacher in the inner city of Philadelphia who preached a sermon Tony says he’ll never forget. Tony preached first. He was “hot,” so “hot” he says, that he even stopped and listened to himself. He sat down and said to his pastor: “Now see if you can top that one!”
“Son,” said the black pastor, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” For an hour and a half the pastor repeated these words over and over again: “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a comin’.”
“I’ve never heard anything like it,” Tony said. “He just kept saying it. The congregation was spellbound by the power of it.”
“It’s Friday. Mary, Jesus’ mother is crying her eyes out. That’s her son up there on the cross. He’s dying the agonizing death of crucifixion as a criminal. But it’s only Friday,” the preacher said. “Sunday’s a comin’.
“The apostles were really down and out. Jesus, their leader, was being killed by evil men. But it was only Friday. Sunday is a comin’.
“The Devil thought he had won. ‘You thought you could outwit me,’ he said, ‘but I’ve got you now.’ But it was only Friday. Sunday is a comin’.”
“He went on like that for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour. Each time he said, ‘It’s Friday,’ the crowd began to respond, ‘but Sunday’s comin’. An hour and 15 minutes.
“It’s Friday and evil has triumphed over good. Jesus is dying up there on the cross. The world is turned upside down. This shouldn’t happen. But it’s only Friday. Sunday’s a comin’.
“It’s Friday. But Sunday is comin’. Mary Magdalene was out of her mind with grief. Her Lord was being killed. Jesus had turned her life from sin to grace. Now he was dead. But it’s only Friday. Sunday is a comin’.”
The place was rocking. For an hour and a half. “Friday! But Sunday is a comin’. Friday. But Sunday is a comin’.
“The sisters and the brothers are suffering. It just isn’t fair…all they have to go through, but it’s only Friday. Sunday is comin’.”
“I was exhausted,” Tony said. “It was the best sermon I’ve ever heard. The old preacher was saying it and the people were with him. ‘It’s Friday, but Sunday is a comin’. It was powerful,” Tony said. “It was personal.”
Quoted from www.mthollywood.org/sermon12.htm
Some of us stay at the cross,
some of us wait at the tomb,
Quickened and raised with Christ
yet lingering still in the gloom.
Some of us ‘bide at the Passover feast
with Pentecost all unknown,
The triumphs of grace in the heavenly place
that our Lord has made His own.
If the Christ who died had stopped at the cross,
His work had been incomplete.
If the Christ who was buried had stayed in the tomb,
He had only known defeat,
But the way of the cross never stops at the cross
and the way of the tomb leads on
To victorious grace in the heavenly place
where the risen Lord has gone.
Annie Johnson Flint
This is BRILLIANT – I’ve used it in both All Age Services and School Easter Assemblies/Services.
I eventually worked it out with Iodine, spray starch and Sodium Thiosulphate. I used some of the links and information below to work this out.
You will need a large clear jar with a lid that can be sealed, a second container of some type, some Chlorine bleach, some Iodine, and two light colored sponges. Cut one sponge in the shape of a heart. Cut the other in the shape of the cross. Both need to be of a size that will fit in the jar with a lid.
Fill the jar with a lid about half full of water, and the other container with a very strong solution of bleach and water (half and half will do). Set the cross in the bleach solution as you begin your lesson (not too long before, it could disolve the sponge).
For the lesson, show the children the heart shaped sponge. Talk about sin and put some drops of iodine on the sponge to represent those sins. You can talk about how impossible it is to remove those stains by yourself. Even dip the heart shaped sponge in the jar of water and show it is still dirty. Then, put the heart shaped sponge in the jar of water and leave it. Now take the cross out of the bleach solution, keeping as much of the solution in the sponge as possible. Tell the children about the power of the cross to cleanse the heart from sin. Put the cross in the jar with water and the stained heart, seal it with the lid, and shake it up a bit as you talk some more about the cross. Then, open the lid and take the heart out. It will be clean.
You should experiment with this lesson once before you actually give it to be sure you have a strong enough bleach solution to clear the iodine from the heart shaped sponge. Be sure to rinse the heart shaped sponge very clean with clear water so the iodine stains will remain when you do the real lesson.
Here is a YouTube video of this process being used in the context of an alternative worship event:
2 Clear Glass Bowls
1 small bottle of Iodine
1 bottle of Film Fixer
1 Purificator or Handkerchief
Fill the two bowls with approximately 1 litre of water, in one bowl have approximately 150-200mls of fixer in the bottom [adding the water could be part of the story]
This devotional video comes from Max Lucado and lasts for just over 9mins. Suitable to use on Good Friday, or any other occasion when you focus on the benefits to us of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
This has it’s own website where there are versions to download: http://www.hechosethenails.net/
A devotional video that uses images and video with text to convey the meaning of Easter. 2min 15sec
I read about a person who wrote the following to a local newspaper advice columnist: Dear Uticus, Our preacher said on Easter that Jesus just swooned on the cross and that His disciples nursed Him back to health. What do you think? Sincerely, Bewildered.
The columnist replied, Dear Bewildered, Beat your preacher with a cat of nine tails with 39 heavy strokes, nail him to a cross, hang him in the sun for six hours, run a spear through his heart, embalm him, put him in an airless tomb for 36 hours, and see what happens. Sincerely, Uticus.
As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev’s widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev’s wife performed an act of great courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of civil disobedience ever committed: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband’s chest. There in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband.
Gary Thomas, in Christian Times, October 3, 1994, p. 26
This moving, reflective piece is great for Easter. Or use it any time to reflect on Jesus with this unique line drawing video.
I think this is brilliant and we may well use this next Easter Sunday.
Video 4min 16sec
This is a wonderful song and I have included here two different versions from YouTube. One could be used in an all-age context with children present, the other is maybe for an adult audience.
On YouTube a live drawing by artist Joe Castillo of Christ’s face containing in the details his life story. Very Inspiring! It is incredible how he draws the events of Jesus’ life and the result is a picture oftheFace of Christ.
This is a video from YouTube. The song is by a group called Go Fish and is brilliant – I used this during may sermon at our Midnight Communion Service on Christmas Eve. There are other alternatives to this on YouTube, just search for “It’s About the Cross”
The evangelism tool for our media generation. i-Share – The Gospel visualized on your screen or on your iPod and in multiple languages. i-Share is a new evangelism tool meant to help individuals, youth groups, mission trip participants and beyond share their faith in a new and relevant way. The i-Share video can be used in a public setting in your favorite presentation software or personally in your own video iPod or similar device. The i-Share also comes in more than one language!! By using the i-Share video mission trip participants are able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ no matter the language barrier.
There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning, he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit.
Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak. “I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, ” What you got there son?”
“Just some old birds,” came the reply. “What are you gonna do with them?” I asked.
“Take ’em home and have fun with ’em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ’em and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”
“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”
“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ’em to them.”
The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”
“Huh? Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing and they ain’t even pretty!”
“How much?” the pastor asked again.
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10.” The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten-dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone.
The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.
Well, that explained the empty birdcage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story.
“One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”
“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.
Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”
“And what will you do when you get done with them?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, I’ll kill ’em,” Satan glared proudly.
“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.
Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don’t want those people!!
“How much?” He asked again.
Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your tears, and all your blood.”
Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.
The pastor picked up the cage, he opened the door, and he walked from the pulpit.
From the Sermon Fodder Email List
Calvary shows how far men will go in sin, and how far God went for man’s salvation.
H. D. Trumbull
This is a video from Igniter Media www.ignitermedia.com
I used this video during a baptism service and it was very powerful.
This song was born out of trying times for Bill and Gloria Gaither. Each day was becoming a struggle. They faced huge uncertainty in the days ahead. But through it all, they were reminded that life, in both the good and bad times, is worth the living because Jesus lives.