An Easter Exercise in Imagination

Kids are very familiar with the tradition of people decorating their homes for Christmas with creche scenes that draw from Scripture. Here’s an idea to prod the imaginations of young people and help them to focus on Scripture images from the Easter stories:

Invite your students to imagine that they own a business that manufactures home decorations. First, have them brainstorm all of the figures that need to be manufactured for a creche scene (Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, stable, animals, shepherds, the Magi). Then, tell them to imagine that there is a new demand for Easter decorations other than bunnies, rabbits, and eggs. Their job is to create Easter scenes that people can decorate their homes with. Have them brainstorm a list of figures that they could manufacture to create Easter scenes for home decoration. Have them use their Bibles, specifically searching the following: Matthew 28: 1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18.

What figures might they include? An empty tomb, a stone rolled away, Mary Magdelene, the “other” Mary (the mother of James), Salome (in Matthew, Joanna in Luke), the angel of the Lord (Luke includes 2 men in dazzling garments and John also includes 2 angels), the guards, the Risen Jesus, Simon Peter, the “othe disciple”.

Encourage the students to draw a mural of their proposed scene. Allow them to mix the Scriptural images in the same way that creche scenes mix images from Matthew and Luke, but help them to recognize the nuances from each Gospel.

Talk about how it is interesting that we so easily decorate our homes with the Scriptural scenes of Christmas (everyone can relate to a baby being born) but we rarely, if ever, see homes decorated with Easter Scriptural scenes even though Easter is the central feast of Christianity. It is certainly more of a risk to publicly proclaim faith in a man being raised from the dead than in a baby being born!

About Joe Paprocki 2471 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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