Monday, February 25, 2008

March Primary Activity Day- The True Meaning of Easter

Looking and Finding the Savior, Jesus Christ.
The true meaning of Easter.
Sparks, NV 5th Ward Primary Activity Day
March 8, 2008

Ask the children to bring some sort of Easter basket. As they enter the foyer it will be decorated by the activity day girls and duty to God boys. On poster board they will make some sort of art piece depicting their view of what the true meaning of Easter is. (Possibly take pictures and send to the friend) They can choose an Easter egg from a large basket (this will determine what group they are in). We will say prayer, have a short introduction (explaining that toady we aren’t looking for Easter eggs but something much more important, the true meaning of Easter) sing a couple Easter songs and then divide into groups (4-5 kids per group).

I found the Savior rooms. (Using GAK pictures on outside of the room) Each child will hear a short presentation from the following. Then they will receive something from each room for their basket. Each room will also have a small handout with the GAK picture of that person, a short summary of how that person found Jesus Christ and a scripture to match.
· Simeon and Anna (GAK 201, 205, 206) (Nativity Popsicle Puppet Set)
· A Blind Man (GAK 213) (Play dough)
· Mary Magdalene GAK 233 (bags of yeast?? He is risen? Boxes of Raisins-crossing out the
· The Brother of Jared GAK 318 (Clear stones from Michael’s)
· Joseph Smith GAK 403 (A CD filled with Easter Songs and Songs about Joseph Smith
and the Restoration from the Children’s Songbook)
· Jeffery R. Holland (The following talk and a lily)
Jeffrey R. Holland, “Friend to Friend: The Cactus, the Cross, and Easter,” Friend, Apr 1980, 6
Probably all of us have had experiences when we really needed someone to help us. I remember once as a small boy I surely did. While playing on a mountainside near our home, I fell into the middle of a huge, prickly cactus plant. Oh, did it hurt! The prickly spines of the cactus went through my sneakers, through my stockings, through my trousers, through my shirt—they went through everything! I felt like a human dart board.
Immediately I let out a cry that was loud enough to shake the mountains. I couldn’t move up, down, in, or out. Every movement I made seemed to send those needles deeper and deeper into my skin. I just stayed there and howled.
I was five years old at the time and my older brother, who immediately rushed to my rescue, was eight. He was overwhelmed at the sight of me and the complexity of my plight. Nevertheless, he began to pull out some of the spines, but they seemed to hurt more coming out than going in and I howled even louder. Furthermore, the pin-size wounds bled so when the spines were removed that after a few minutes I looked like an advertisement for Red Cross donations.
Finally my brother saw that his feeble plucking was hopeless. There were dozens of spines yet to pull, and I was still screaming at the top of my lungs. He did the only thing an eight-year-old brother could do. He ran down the mountain, got his small red wagon, and labored painfully to get it up the side of the hill to where I was awaiting death—I thought. With some tugging and hauling and lifting—and plenty of noise from me—he got me out of the cactus and into the wagon. Then in some miraculous way, known only to children and Providence, he navigated me down off that steep mountain in his wagon.
The rest of the story is blurred in my memory. As I recall, my mother got me out of my clothes and the rest of the prickly spines out of me. What I do remember clearly and will never forget is the sight of my brother tugging that wagon and determinedly making his way toward me. He was so concerned that he worked wonderfully hard to get to me. If I live to be one hundred, I suppose no memory of my brother will be more vivid than the view I had of him that day. I needed him desperately. And there he was, coming to help!
Easter is always a special time for us (to me it is the very best day of the whole year), and we should all try to remember that we once faced a most difficult problem and needed someone to help us. It was a problem much worse than a lost pet or a broken toy or a fall into a cactus plant. Through a long history of experience, beginning with Adam and Eve and stretching down to our own lives, it was a problem that if unsolved, would have left us in the presence of Satan and his hateful followers. We could then never be united again with our family, with our friends, and with our Heavenly Father who loves us. We would have been in a prison forever.
But Jesus, our elder Brother, did not allow himself to be captured by Satan. He was still safely outside the prison gates. In a way that we may not fully understand, even when we are very old, Jesus set us free. It was as though He had the only key to the prison door and that only He had the strength to swing it open. In doing so, He saved our lives so our families can be kept together and so we can someday return to our heavenly home. But He paid a terrible price to do this for us, a price for which we must give Him honor and reverence by keeping His commandments. He suffered a horrible death on a cross. In that anguish of physical and spiritual pain Jesus, too, momentarily thought He was all alone and without help, and yet He did not turn away from helping us.
Jesus died for us, and only the mountains that trembled and the sun that darkened seemed to understand the gift that was being given. Then something wonderful happened! One who had died and was buried came to life again in a special way called resurrection.
In the peaceful setting of a spring garden, Jesus arose from His burial tomb to live again with our Heavenly Father. And in some wonderful, miraculous way, He gave us the same power and privilege. I do not know exactly how this will happen, but I know that we have, through Jesus, been given the opportunity to conquer all doubt and despair and death. That is what Easter means to me.
Each year at Easter time, I would like you to remember how much nicer all the beautiful spring flowers look (and feel) than do those prickly cactus plants I once fell into. And I would especially like you to remember our Brother Jesus Christ to whom we owe everything, for He came to heal our wounds, calm our fears, and bring us safely home when we really, really needed Him.

Children will spend 10 minutes at each person’s room. I’d like to have rooms decorated (according to the time and setting of that witness to Christ) and witnesses in costume. Primary teachers will guide each group, room to room. The children will then be ushered into the overflow area again. The witnesses of Christ will do a concluding presentation. (as follows)

Easter Story (Adapted)
Marita Schugk, “Easter Story,” Friend, Apr 1992, 8

Simeon: What is the true meaning of Easter?
Anna: Jesus was a child, just like you. He had a body with arms and legs. Like you, He grew up too. The Bible says that He “grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom” (Luke 2:40).
Simeon: Jesus loves you. He has always loved little children.The Bible says that He “took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:16).
Blind Man: One day Jesus told His friends that He was going away. He told them to remember Him and to love everyone.He said, “Yet a little while I am with you. … I say to you … love one another; as I have loved you.” (John 13:33–34.)
Mary Magdalene: We take the sacrament bread and water to help us remember Him. Jesus took the sacrament with His disciples to show us that it is important. He said, “This do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him.
Blind Man: He told His disciples (people who believed in Him) that on the third day after wicked men had Him killed, He would live again and never die anymore.
Mary Magdalene: He said, “All things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man [Jesus] shall be accomplished. … They shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.” (Luke 18:31, 33.)
The Brother of Jared: In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus suffered and bled for the sins of all people. Those who repent and who believe in Him shall have eternal life.
Joseph Smith: The Bible says, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).Later, wicked men had Jesus whipped and ordered Him to be nailed to a wooden cross.
The Brother of Jared: In the Bible, it says, “And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called … Golgotha: Where they crucified him” (John 19:17–18). Jesus hung on the cross a long time. And even though it wasn’t night yet, it became very dark.
Joseph Smith: The Bible says, “There was a darkness over all the earth. … And the sun was darkened.” (Luke 23:44–45.) Jesus died. His spirit left His body. The Bible tells us that Jesus said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Jeffery R. Holland: Joseph, one of Jesus’ friends, had His body taken from the cross and wrapped in fine cloth. Then His body was put into a tomb, and the entrance to the tomb was closed with a big rock. The Bible says, “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door” (Matt. 27:59–60).
Joseph Smith: On Sunday morning, an angel rolled the big stone away from the door. When Mary and Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that it was empty, they were afraid.
Jeffery R. Holland: The angel told them, “Fear not. … For he is risen, as he said.” (Matt. 28:5, 6.) Jesus was resurrected. He was alive. His spirit and His body were together again. But Mary Magdalene did not yet understand this. She went back to the tomb later and cried.
Mary Magdalene: I wept, I stooped down, and looked into the [tomb]” and “I turned myself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.”Jesus called me by my name. He talked to me. I recognized His voice and knew then that He really had risen from the dead.
Simeon: Jesus showed Himself to others. They saw and touched His resurrected body. The Bible tells us that He told them: “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39).
The Blind Man: Because of Jesus’ suffering for us, and because He was resurrected, after we die, we will be resurrected too. The Apostle Paul says, “For as … all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22).
Anna: This is the true meaning of Easter and why we celebrate it.
All : Jesus lives!!
The Brother of Jared: And because of His sacrifice, we will all live again and can be forgiven of our sins if we repent and believe in Him.
Sing an Easter Song and Have a closing prayer/blessing on the snacks.
SNACKS (Like a short cooking demonstration. Have the cookies baked before hand)
1c. Whole Pecans
1 tsp. Vinegar
1c. Sugar
Zipper Baggie
3 Egg Whites
Wooden Spoon
Pinch Salt
Preheat oven to 300° (This is important-- Do it now!) Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. (John 19:1-3.) Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. (John 19:28-30.) Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. (John 10:10-11.) Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. (Luke 23:27.) So far the ingredients are not appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. (Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.) Beat with a mixer for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. (Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.) Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. (Matt. 27:57-60.) Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. (Matt. 27:65-66.) GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. (John 16:20 and 22.) On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. (Matt. 28:1-9.)

1 comment :

SARAH said...

Any art project ideas for My Eternal Family Theme for a primary activity?