Thursday, March 25, 2010

Benjamin Boxes

One of my favorite children’s Easter stories is titled “Benjamin’s Box” by Melody Carlson.  It is about a little boy that lived during the time of Jesus and his first hand account of the last week of Jesus’ life.  I like this story for several reasons, beautiful illustrations, a gentle explanation of events, but mostly because you can also make a “Benjamin’s Box.” 

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I have used this story with my children’s church classes, as well as with my own children and their friends.  Similar to “Resurrection Eggs”, the box with items helps a child to remember the story, and it is a tool for explaining to other children the good news of Jesus.

The story goes that Benjamin’s grandfather gave him a special “treasure box.”  Inside was a piece of straw from the manger.  During Jesus’ last week, Benjamin collected items reflecting his encounters with Jesus.

Our boxes:

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Decorating our boxes involved lots of paint, glitter glue, and sparkly things! 

After the boxes were dry, I read the story to the kids and passed out mementos for them to put into their boxes.

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I also included a little paper with the list of items and their meaning to the story.

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The items are:

Straw – Stable of Jesus’ birth

Donkey Fur – Jesus enters Jerusalem

Coin – Judas’ blood money

Cup – The Last Supper

Twig – Jesus praying in Garden of Gethsemane

Leather Strip – Jesus was beaten

Nail – Jesus’ crucifixion

Spear – Soldiers pierce Jesus’ side

Die – Soldiers used to divide Jesus’ things

White Cloth – Jesus’ burial cloth

Stone – Stone in front of Jesus’ tomb

Empty Box – Jesus’ empty tomb and resurrection

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The beautiful thing is when your child tells you the story and takes out all of the items, the box is empty!  Just like the tomb.  Jesus overcame death, appeared to His followers, and ascended into heaven.  He did all of this so that we may have eternal life.  There is no greater love than this.

Jesus said, “I’ll tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.”  Matthew 18:2-5.

5 comments:

Vivian M said...

What a great idea! I love the fact that the items inside help them to remember the "story"!

Annie said...

Wow! I love it! That is so cool!!!! What a great way to talk about the "story" with young kids, especially.

Kim K. said...

What a great idea to share the resurrection story! And there is crafting involved!! Love it!

Heather said...

Nice project.
Thanks for following my blog, Beach Mama. How did you find me? Hopefully I'll be a Maoming Mama, too, soon.

Tim and Heike said...

You made those boxes with our girls while I we were in the hospital with Patrick and they loved it. They told me all about it.