Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lamb of God Lenten Craft & The Ultimate DVD Read and Share Bible: Volume 2

At church, before communion, we often sing The Agnus Dei. "Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us." I often wonder what my kids are thinking when they hear the verses of the Agnus Dei. During Lent many of us teach our children that Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. The imagery of Jesus as the Lamb of God is a natural extension of this teaching and the symbolism is worth discussing during the Lenten season with your kids.

John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God: "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29 NIV)

God offered up the perfect sacrifice, his Son, the “Sacrificial Lamb." Through Jesus' death on the cross and His resurrection, we can have eternal life if we believe in Him. "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." (1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV)

When we sing about the Lamb of God, we remember Christ's death on the cross and the sacrifice, and we praise God and offer our thanks and devotion to the Lamb, our Redeemer. "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" (Revelation 5:12 NIV)

Lamb of God Crayon Resist Lenten Craft

In art, the Agnus Dei symbol is often depicted as a lamb bearing a cross or banner. We made our own Agnus Dei artwork today for our stArt project. Starting with a white piece of paper, we cut out the lamb's body in a cloud shape.

While the kids were busy cutting out a head and legs out of black paper, I took a white crayon and wrote "Jesus" on each of the white body pieces. I also added some white swirls to look like wool. Using watercolor paint, the kids covered the lamb's body with paint and, through this wax resist artwork, it was revealed to them that Jesus is the "Lamb of God." Our sins are represented by the paint and Jesus, written in white crayon, takes away the sins of the world. I cut out a cross shape out of brown construction paper while the kids painted.

After the paint dried the kids assembled their own Agnus Dei artwork. The artwork indeed reminds us that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Other Lamb of God Crafts:
Lamb of God Washcloth
Lamb of God Lenten Countdown Calendar

My family started reading Bible stories together at the beginning of Lent, in addition to our Lenten devotions. There are many different resources available to help parents teach their children about the Bible, including several different children's Bibles. Young children yearn to hear the Word of God and it's a good idea to share Biblical stories with children starting at a young age. The best children's Bibles teach various stories using engaging illustrations and are written with simple text that the child can understand.

The Ultimate DVD Read and Share Bible series by Gwen Ellis is a good choice for very young children (ages 2-6). So far, there are two volumes to this set and each book contains over 100 Bible stories from both the Old and New Testament. Each story is laid out in a very brief two page segment, and retold based on verses from the Bible. There's a discussion question that goes along with each story that helps encourage active learning and because each story is so short, it can be easily read aloud to even a very young child. What I like specifically about this series is that each book contains two DVDs that show the stories in animated form. The DVDs really help bring the stories to life and reinforce the stories in the book so kids will be able to better recall what they read.

Thomas Nelson sent my family The Ultimate DVD Read and Share Bible: Volume Two for review. Volume 2 begins with the Old Testament stories of Joseph and continues on with Moses and the Israelites' exodus out of Egypt. Other Old Testament stories covered include Balaam, Joshua, several stories from 1 and 2 Kings, Job, Daniel and Jonah. The New Testament stories include ones about the boy Jesus at the temple, Jesus walking on water and stopping the storm, and his interactions with Zacchaeus and Lazarus, among others. Volume two is appropriate to read during Lent and Easter because it also includes the story of Jesus' death and resurrection.

I am very surprised at how interested my children are in this particular Bible set. We own other children's Bibles, but this is the first time they've shown independent interest in reading and learning about the Bible. I really think the visual aspect of the stories on DVD helps make the text more interesting to them. The music and narration are pretty mellow sounding and rather comforting. I only have a few criticisms. Unfortunately, children cannot easily follow along using the book and DVD together because the DVD does not cover everything in the book and the stories are split up rather randomly between the two DVDs. Additionally, the narration is not taken directly from the text of the book and the noses on the animated characters look a little odd. The stories are not always presented in chronological order, but rather set up more like Sunday School lessons that jump to various stories.

However, I liked Volume 2 well enough that I also recently purchased the first volume so that my kids could read and listen to the other stories not covered in Volume 2. After we are finished we the set, I plan to donate it to our church so that it can be used by the Sunday School and other families. I think that overall the series provides a very nice overview of the Bible for young children. While it does not go into great detail, it provides a simple starting point for families looking to begin home Bible studies.

abc button Shibley Smiles

A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Join in Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word. Show off your ideas at ABC & 123 Show and Tell. Find more great book tie-ins at JDaniel4's Mom Read, Explore, Learn link-up.

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RedTedArt said...

Oh how lovely! So sweet!! Will have to show the video to my son too. Fabulous!

Thank you for sharing his on Kids Get Crafty!


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I LOVE the craft, Janelle. Sometimes I get so caught up in doing our "big" school stuff that I forget that my girls are still really young and would likely appreciate simpler activities. I think we might have to try this one as Easter draws near.

I am hanging my head in shame here, but I have that same Bible (I think) minus the DVD to review, and I've yet to do it. I have such a stack of to be reviewed titles that I never manage to get to! I think I need to give myself a deadline!

Thanks so much for linking up!

Candace @Naturally Educational said...

Love the idea of the crayon resist and the way you incorporated your faith into the craft!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Your lamb is precious! The DVD set sounds great! I haven't seen this yet!