There I was, standing in the Valentine’s Day candy aisle at my favorite store when his little voice stabbed my heart. “Mommy, how many days until Christmas?” His mother laughed and said, “Oh, I guess about 300 or so.” His little face just melted at her answer.
And my heart felt the same way.
I’m not going to assume that this little boy was looking forward to a mountain of presents (although I imagine it wouldn’t be too far off from reality). But regardless, my heart wondered if Easter was really important enough. I wondered if somewhere in those aisles of candy, trinkets, and treats we lost the true meaning of everything valuable.
And I actually wondered if my kids were longing for Easter in their own hearts. I wondered if I had really taught what Easter was about. I wondered if they were like much of the world and saw it as just another chance to get candy and play some fun games.
I took the chance that day in the Target candy aisle to re-evaluate what we had been doing to celebrate. Like all holidays in our home, I’ve always been careful not to throw out everything in the name of “Christ-centeredness.” I don’t believe it really has to be that way. But I do believe that if we are going to make it all about Christ (and we absolutely are) then we need to be more intentional about making sure that our focus is in the right place.
I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than create another countdown. It’s just such a wonderful way to build anticipation, teach God’s truth, and bring the focus of the holiday to the right place every single day as we await that celebration. If done right, it also helps children to fully understand the meaning behind it all.
So I took a somewhat popular Christmas idea and made it into an Easter Countdown. (We have enough Christmas ideas anyway, right?) As we journey to the cross with Christ, I thought it would be rather appropriate to study the names of Jesus. This kind of study leads us straight to the heart of who He is and is simply a beautiful way to celebrate His sacrifice for us on the cross.
Creating your Names of Jesus Easter Countdown
The materials are simple. You need the free printable file (below), two different colors of cardstock paper, tape, and a display.
I used an old Creative Memories frame to display our countdown, but the options are limitless. You could use a cork board, a poster board, the fridge, etc. I wanted to have a place where we could look at all of the names at once, but you could also put them in a basket and pull them out whenever you desire.
Each morning, we will pull off a new link and then read the verse that goes along with it. I also plan to have my children journal about the name and verse in our God and Me journals.
The countdown lasts 30 days. Don’t worry about getting all 30 in before Easter. If you are getting a late start, finish after the official holiday. There is nothing that says that you must stop!
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