The Easter baskets, gifts, candy, and games have dwindled now as my kids have gotten older. And that is a good thing. Because this means my kids are expecting less hubbub and hoopla as they increasingly understand the true meaning of this holy holiday. It’s all a part of growing up.
But no matter the age, I love to give “hands-on” lessons that kids can relate to, reinforcing the true meaning of Easter. The “Easter Cookie Story” is one particular lesson I shared with my children when they were younger.
Easter Cookie Story
To be made the evening before Easter, or whenever you want to give this lesson. I’ve actually had to open the oven early because of a limited time frame, but over-night gives best results.
You will need:
1c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
a pinch salt
1. Preheat oven to 300
2. Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, the Roman soldiers beat him. Read John 19:1-3.
3. Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
4. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
6. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.
7. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
8. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.
9. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matt.27:65-66.
10. GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
11. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
I’ve not only tried this with my own kids, but I’ve also pulled this out for one of my “Balcony Girls” lessons.
Not only does this lesson walk you through the Easter story, it focuses on the truth of Jesus’ resurrection and how it gives us hope for the future.
As Easter nears, if you are looking for a fun idea to do with your younger kids -- or even grandkids or neighborhood kids -- give this “recipe” a try. Sharing hospitality means reaching out to those around you!
Sandy Coughlin is a wife and mother of 3. She loves her family and loves blessing other people's lives by entertaining in her home. Sandy’s husband, Paul, (who used to be the reluctant entertainer) has come on board, and they often offer hospitality together. Sandy and Paul co-authored a book called Married but Not Engaged (Bethany House, Aug. 2006). It's written to women who are married to "checked out" or emotionally absent men and who want to create a more satisfying, intimate relationship. This article was adapted from Sandy’s regularly updated blog “4 Reluctant Entertainers,” which you can visit at www.reluctantentertainer.com. Get more information on Married but Not Engaged by clicking here.