Lent - Cross (3) The Holding Cross
The season of Lent begins and ends with the cross. On Ash Wednesday there is the tradition of receiving the cross of ashes on the forehead to mark the beginning of a six-week period of prayer and reflection before Easter; and on Good Friday, we finally come to the cross of history on the hill outside Jerusalem where Jesus died.
The following outline would provide a link to further work during Lent on crosses that are found in the Barnabas book A-cross the World; for further development of this theme of the cross through Lent, visit the Ideas section of the website.
This idea could be used in a variety of ways:
as material for a Sunday group session with children for the second Sunday in Lent
as a resource for a special event with children and adults during the week
as part of a special Lenten display.
You will need a copy of A-cross the World from Barnabas This book has information and creative ideas based on 40 different crosses from around the world. It also includes ideas for all-age worship, study sessions, games, outlines for special events, collective worship in school and also for R.E. lessons.
1. Lent 2 – the Holding Cross
Key Theme: Deciding
Use the ideas for games and icebreakers on the cross from Pages 107 –112 in A-cross the World
2. The story of the Holding Cross is in part about having to make a decision to take a firm hold on Jesus by faith. The craft idea for this cross is on page 93 of A-cross the World.
3. The Bible parable for this is that of 'The Tower Builder and the Army General' (Luke 14: 27-31). Jesus is saying that we can not just drift in and out of following him but that we need to make a definite decision to put God first. He wants us to see that following him and choosing God's way is a serious decision that we all need to make.
4. I wonder what have been the big decisions that the children have had to face so far in their lives? I wonder how they have gone about making those decisions? I wonder why Jesus was so concerned that we should think hard about whether to follow him or not? Can the children decide on what are the best ways to go about making big decisions?
N.B. The Holding Cross is particularly used in prayer. I wonder how this might relate to this story?
5. Each child could make the crosses individually or perhaps there could be one large version made co-operatively by the children and which can then be brought into church for display, building up to the events of Holy Week and Easter morning.
6. For this session there are a number of possible ideas for prayers, both formal and creative, in A-cross the World – see pages113 –119 and pages 123 –128.