Monday, February 25, 2013

Experiencing Lent: Amon's Adventure

Do you celebrate Lent? Do anything special to mark the days leading up to Easter, or Resurrection Sunday?

I confess - that is one of the things that I miss about the Episcopal church I attended in college. The ritual, the liturgy, and the church calendar. Each year, I try - with varying degrees of success - to prepare my heart, and help my children prepare their hearts - for the glorious celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

We have had far more success celebrating Advent, the days leading up to Christmas. Part of that celebration has been the series of books written by Arnold Ytreeide: Jotham's Journey, Tabitha's Travels, and Bartholomew's Passage. We've read each one at least twice. . . . they are captivating stories set in the time of the birth of Christ, weaving tales of three young children who are caught up in adventures and end up at the manger.

This year, by the request - no, the pleading of my children - I purchased Amon's Adventure. Amon is the son of some main characters from the Jotham series, and we follow his life and intrigue around the temple in Jerusalem during - you guessed it - the time when Jesus was approaching His passion.

We've only ready about 5 days so far - there are 28 chapters all told. Mr. Ytreeide gives several ways to schedule the reading; once every few days, start the 28 days before Easter, or read a whole bunch during Holy Week. Each lesson ends with a scripture to consider and a short thought related to the day's reading, making it perfect for family devotions.

You're not too late! If your family has read the Jotham's Journey stories, your kids will laugh and nod their heads as they recognize familiar characters. But even if you are newcomers to Arnold Ytreeide's work, you and your kids will be drawn into the heart of the adventure, and turn your hearts and minds towards the marvelous sacrifice of Jesus.

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