Forty days and nights of rain beating down on that noisy smelly ark.
Forty years wandering in the wilderness between slavery in Egypt and freedom in the Promised Land.
Forty days Moses spent on the mountain with God.
The spies inspected the new land for forty days before bringing out fruit and a mixed report.
Elijah walked and fasted for forty days to Mount Horeb.
For forty days Jesus fasted in the desert and endured the temptations of Satan before any preaching or healing began.
Forty is the number of preparation.
Before a goodbye to the old and the arrival of the new. Forty.
For forty days we prepare for Easter – a farewell to sin and separation and death and the beginning of forgiveness, reunion, life full and forever.
Together. Around the kitchen table with Jesus at the center. After vitamins and teeth brushing. Before prayers and lights out.
Thanks to Ann and her entrepreneurial boy Caleb – bright and generous beyond his years – our family prepares for Easter using his Cradle To Cross Wreath set. (We also use this for Advent. Leave your email address here to get one.)
Every night we move the lit candle and the wooden Jesus figure one step closer to the center of the spiral, one step closer to the empty tomb. And we read a chapter – one short story – from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. (Used from as low as $11.06 here.)
Every story points forward in history to the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus in a way that kids can understand, and with artwork my kids ooh and ahh at…and copy.
Last night the preparation began. Day one was all about creation. How God called everything “good” and it was. How he was like a new dad when he saw Adam and Eve for the first time. And how God the Father would always love them – would always love us.
He was prepared to love – no matter the price.
How does your family prepare together during Lent?