Happy Easter everyone! There are two themes running through our resources this week but, (as you will find out), they are connected and they are something that we will all experience in our lives.

In our Music Resource we focus on the New Life of Jesus through the Resurrection. ‘My Redeemer Lives’ is a very catchy song so join in with the Easter joy!

Our Picture Resource will remind us of the role that we have to play in nurturing and helping New Life and there are lots of cute pictures to help to get us thinking!

Our Action sets us the task of reflecting on the scripture which explains what the women and the disciples discovered when they visited the tomb on Easter Sunday.

The ‘circle of life’ is a phrase we may have heard before but our Video Resource will explain what that means and with some scripture from the First Letter of Saint Peter we will be able to understand a little better how Jesus’ death brings each of us New Life.

Finally, our Scripture Resource will help us to reflect on the resurrection of Lazarus, a friend of Jesus. With pictures, videos and questions we will reflect on this great event and think about the messages of Death and New Life that it gives.

This week’s themes are big concepts to get your head around so think carefully as you go through the resources and don’t be afraid to ask questions and to trust in the protection and love of Jesus.

Scripture Bank

If you would like to reflect on some more of the scriptures related to this topic then you can use some of the scripture references below.

Most of these are taken from Open Bible – you can use their Topical Bible Search facility to find lots more ideas! Just remember to change the Bible translation to ‘Good News Translation’ when you click on the link!

If you have found any pieces of scripture that you think link to our theme this week then please add them in the comments box below to share the Good News so that we can all enjoy them!

2 Peter 3:18

Philippians 3:12-14

Matthew 18:1-35

Romans 12:21

Philippians 1:6

Click here for the Music Resource

Easter is a time of joy and celebration which is why this week’s music is such a happy song!

This song is called My Redeemer Lives and it is about the joy that we share in, knowing that Jesus rose from the dead.

The lyrics are on the screen so join in once you pick up the tune.

Which is your favourite line in the song? Why?

Why do you think Easter is a time of great joy?

When Jesus rose from the dead He conquered death. This means that Jesus can save us so that death is not the end but instead it is the beginning of a life in heaven with God.

Take some time (in quiet or whilst you listen to the song again), to think about what it means to have the hope of a life with God in heaven.

Thank you Jesus for the great sacrifice that you made for us.

Please help us to lead good lives so that we can one day join you in Your Kingdom of Heaven.

Amen.

Click here for the Picture Resource

Where there is New Life we have the opportunity to help and to nurture it.

Look at the pictures below and think about how you would help these new lives.

What would they need to eat/ drink?

Where would they need to live?

How could you help them to grow?

God made us stewards of the Earth which means that we should take care of the plants, animals and people that are a part of it.

When we see New Life in the world we should take care of it and encourage it to grow so that we are fulfilling our call to take care of the Earth.

This may mean feeding animals and giving plants water but it also means that we should protect the environment that they live in and make sure that they are not damaged by the effects of Climate Change.

Thank you Lord for the New Life that you bring into the world everyday.

Help us to be good stewards who take care of the Earth and to respect the lives that you have created.

Amen.

Click here for the Action

Below is the scripture which describes the morning that Jesus’ followers discovered that Jesus had gone from the tomb.

Read it carefully and think about the different emotions that the followers of Jesus would have been feeling.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.

(Glory to you O Lord.)

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. She went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Then Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb. The two of them were running, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and saw the linen cloths, but he did not go in. Behind him came Simon Peter, and he went straight into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there and the cloth which had been around Jesus’ head. It was not lying with the linen cloths but was rolled up by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. (They still did not understand the scripture which said that he must rise from death.)

The Gospel of the Lord.

(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)

(John 20: 1-9)

This week’s Action is all about bringing this piece of scripture to life!

Break into teams and think of some ways to interpret this scripture and to reflect upon it.

You could do this through drama, art, music, liturgical dance, poetry – be creative!

When you have spent some time on your reflections join together as a group to share what you have prepared.

If you have time then video your reflections or photograph them so that we can add your reflections to the Be Inspirational site for all of the Schools across our Trust to see!

Click here for the Video Resource

In this video clip from the Disney film ‘The Lion King‘ Mufassa explains the circle of life to his son Simba.

He tells Simba that Death and New Life are connected, just as each one of us is connected.

After His resurrection Jesus ascended into heaven both body and soul (as Mary His Mother did too).

But, for the rest of us, when we die our bodies will become earth for plants to grow in and eventually plants that animals such as antelope will one day eat – just as it says in the video clip. We will help to bring New Life even when we are not alive!

In this scripture from the first letter of Saint Peter we can see how Jesus’ death gives us the hope of New Life.

A reading from the first letter of Saint Peter.

You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood.

May grace and peace be yours in full measure.

Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope, and so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away.

The Word of the Lord.

(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)

(1 Peter 1: 2-4)

As the scripture says, through Jesus’ death, we are given New Life because Jesus conquered death so that we could have life with God in heaven.

This gives us great hope because death is not the end, it is the beginning of a New Life in the presence of God!

Take some time to reflect and think about those who are already sharing in a New Life with God.

Take some time to offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for the opportunity that we have to share in a New Life through Christ.

Click here for the Scripture Resource

This week’s Scripture links with both of our themes of Death and New Life because it tells us about when Jesus brought Lazarus back to life.

Read the scripture below carefully and then watch the video to see how the people in the story felt.

It is a long piece of scripture so it might be a good idea to have a few different readers.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.

(Glory to you O Lord.)

A man named Lazarus, who lived in Bethany, became sick. Bethany was the town where Mary and her sister Martha lived. (This Mary was the one who poured the perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was sick.) The sisters sent Jesus a message: “Lord, your dear friend is sick.”

When Jesus heard it, he said, “The final result of this sickness will not be the death of Lazarus; this has happened in order to bring glory to God, and it will be the means by which the Son of God will receive glory.”

Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he received the news that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days. Then he said to the disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“Teacher,” the disciples answered, “just a short time ago the people there wanted to stone you; and are you planning to go back?”

Jesus said, “A day has twelve hours, doesn’t it? So those who walk in broad daylight do not stumble, for they see the light of this world. But if they walk during the night they stumble, because they have no light.” Jesus said this and then added, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I will go and wake him up.”

The disciples answered, “If he is asleep, Lord, he will get well.”

Jesus meant that Lazarus had died, but they thought he meant natural sleep. So Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, but for your sake I am glad that I was not with him, so that you will believe. Let us go to him.”

Thomas (called the Twin) said to his fellow disciples, “Let us all go along with the Teacher, so that we may die with him!”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been buried four days before. Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Judeans had come to see Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother’s death.

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died! But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask him for.”

“Your brother will rise to life,” Jesus told her.

“I know,” she replied, “that he will rise to life on the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; and those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Lord!” she answered. “I do believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. “The Teacher is here,” she told her, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him. (Jesus had not yet arrived in the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.) The people who were in the house with Mary comforting her followed her when they saw her get up and hurry out. They thought that she was going to the grave to weep there.

Mary arrived where Jesus was, and as soon as she saw him, she fell at his feet. “Lord,” she said, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died!”

Jesus saw her weeping, and he saw how the people with her were weeping also; his heart was touched, and he was deeply moved. “Where have you buried him?” he asked them.

“Come and see, Lord,” they answered.

Jesus wept. “See how much he loved him!” the people said.

But some of them said, “He gave sight to the blind man, didn’t he? Could he not have kept Lazarus from dying?”

Deeply moved once more, Jesus went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone placed at the entrance. “Take the stone away!” Jesus ordered.

Martha, the dead man’s sister, answered, “There will be a bad smell, Lord. He has been buried four days!”

Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believed?” They took the stone away. Jesus looked up and said, “I thank you, Father, that you listen to me. I know that you always listen to me, but I say this for the sake of the people here, so that they will believe that you sent me.” After he had said this, he called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” He came out, his hands and feet wrapped in grave cloths, and with a cloth around his face. “Untie him,” Jesus told them, “and let him go.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)

(John 11: 1-44)

Lazarus was a dear friend to Jesus, how do you think Jesus felt when He heard the news that Lazarus was dead?

How do you think the disciples felt, returning to a place where their teacher might be attacked?

How do you think Mary and Martha felt when Jesus arrived in Bethany? Did those feelings change?

What do you think Jesus meant when He said: “this has happened in order to bring glory to God, and it will be the means by which the Son of God will receive glory.” ?

What might you have been thinking if you were in the crowd who saw what happened in Bethany that day?

How does this scripture make you feel?

All of these events happened before Jesus died on the cross and rose again.

Jesus showed His disciples, and all of His followers, the great power of God, but even then they didn’t always remain faithful to Him.

Think about your faith and your relationship with God. Do you always remain faithful? Do you trust in God’s power?

Mary and Martha put their faith in Jesus and their trust was rewarded because their brother Lazarus was raised to life again.

If we trust in God then one day we will be raised to a new life with Him in heaven and we can enjoy eternal life.

Please help us Jesus to remain faithful to you.

Help us to trust you to care for us and to rely on you when things are difficult.

Amen.

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