Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Lenten Book and Activity: Benjamin's Box and Resurrection Eggs

When Lent rolls around, my children eagerly pull the book Benjamin's Box off the shelf and ask me "where are the Resurrection Eggs?" These two items have become synonymous to Lent in our home. I have mentioned both items previously in my CreativeGiftGiver yahoogroup and on the CGG website. Some of my regular readers have asked me to write more about these items and how they can incorporate them into their Lenten observances. I would love to discuss this wonderful tradition a bit more.

Benjamin’s Box is a Zonderkidz book written by Melody Carlson and illustrated by Jack Stockman. The story is built around a young boy named Benjamin who lives in Palestine during Jesus' life. Specifically, the story takes place during the last week of Jesus' life. Benjamin's grandfather has given him a special box where he keeps his treasures. In the beginning of the story, it only contains a piece of straw. His grandfather told Benjamin that the straw came from the bed of a baby who would grow up to be a king. As Benjamin proceeds through the week, he picks up little treasures to add to the box, like a broken cup that was used at a very important meal and a gambling stone used to determine what soldier would get to keep the clothing of a very important person who is being crucified. At the end of the week, he has a box full of bittersweet and joyful memories.

My children love the story because it is told from the perspective of a child about their age. The first time we read it, my son promptly created his own treasure box out of an old shoe box. The story is special by itself, but we have enhanced it even further by using Resurrection Eggs while reading.

Resurrection Eggs are a set of 12 plastic eggs that contain small little trinkets that symbolize the many important events that occurred during Holy Week. Many of the items match those being collected by Benjamin.

We read one page of the story each day. Then one child is allowed to pick out an egg and open it to discover that day's treasure. For example, when Benjamin describes people waving palms while a very important person rides into town on a donkey, my children open the appropriate egg and discover a tiny plastic donkey.

Matching the eggs to the story page is easy. Each egg is a different color and most match the color of the egg on the bottom of each book page. All of the eggs are stored in a plastic egg carton, and its cover also includes a reference list of each egg and its contents.

I love this "hands on" way of learning more about Jesus' passion, death and resurrection. And although many aspects of the story are sad, the book handles it in a child-friendly way. It is not terrifying or scary for young children.

I highly recommend these two items. The eggs provide a "hands-on" way for children to remember the important events of the week. The book gently describes the events of the week without frightening young children, yet the story has enough depth to interest older children, too.

You can pick up the book inexpensively at Click below to read more reviews and information about it:

I purchased my Resurrection Eggs at

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