By Julia Johnson

Preparing for Passover with my grandchildren

For the past several years I have hosted the Passover Seder at my house with my daughter and family as my guests. As many of you may have experienced, hosting a Seder with children looks far different than with adults. They wiggle, their attention span is short, and the Haggadah is far too long for them. So, over the years, I have tried to include fun, interactive things to help them stay engaged. One year I ordered “plague masks” and we each took turns choosing a mask with our eyes closed and putting it on then asking questions from everyone else to try and determine which plague they were. Another year I found little “plague finger puppets” and we used those as we retold the Exodus story.

My grandkids are homeschooled, so this year I worked with my daughter, and we set aside each Thursday for five weeks to learn about the Exodus and Passover story culminating on Passover. I got materials from Bible Pathways which included Bible readings, Bible verses to memorize, coloring pages, crossword puzzles, fill in the blank recitations, and journal postings for certain events. My grandkids are into Lego’s, so we also included making something with their legos following each lesson that reflected the lesson. I must admit, I was amazed at how creative they were.

Four days prior to Passover I gave each child their own little stuffed lamb (Amazon) and we talked about the importance of the lamb at Passover and how they were to protect it from harm, feed it, water it, and make sure that it was without blemish for Passover. It was so cute. They got out a dish for food (candy) and water for their lambs. When they showed up for the Passover meal, they brought their lambs. As my seven-year-old granddaughter entered my house she was holding her lamb closely and had big tears in her eyes. She then said “Grandma, I am so sorry. My lamb got dirty and can’t be sacrificed”. My hurt broke. I told her that we would see if we could clean up her lamb (and it did clean up nicely).

So, when it came to the Seder meal this year, I wanted to incorporate the plagues into our meal. We did the typical Seder plate and reviewed the events leading up to the Exodus, the importance of Passover then and how Yeshua has become our Passover lamb, and that the story did not end with the Passover but culminated in the crossing of the Red Sea (their redemption) and tied it to the Resurrection (their redemption). When it came time for dinner I served:

Applesauce with red hots hidden in the sauce (blood)
Green salad with gummy green frogs at the bottom (frogs)
Deviled eggs with chia seeds sprinkled on top (lice)
Cooked carrots with little plastic flies on top (flies)
Mashed potatoes with crumbled jerky on top (animals)
I got little tan circular bandaids and we put them on (boils)
Chocolate pudding with mini dehydrated marshmallows on top (hail)
I got suckers with locusts in them (locusts)
We darkened the room (darkness)

And for the death of the first born, we talked about how the lamb had to be inspected to be without defect and why it was so important for them to care for, feed, protect the lamb as we prepared for Passover. We talked about why it was important for the lamb to be pure and how Yeshua also was the Passover lamb – that He was perfect, without blemish and willingly shed His blood so that we could be redeemed/saved.

The following week we did our final lesson on the parting of the Red Sea and drew parallels to the parted Red Sea and what it ultimately led to (salvation) and the empty grave and what it led to (salvation).

I am thrilled to say that one grandson had already given his heart to Yeshua two years earlier, and this year (following Passover) my nine-year-old grandson and seven-year-old granddaughter both gave their hearts to Yeshua and were baptized.

Oh, to have the innocent hearts of children who are full of faith. 

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