Lenten Meditations for Children: Helping Others Carry Their Crosses

We’ve almost finished the third week of Lent–half-way through. I made some intentions at the beginning of Lent. Some of them I’m doing better on than others. One of my intentions was to spend more time in prayer, but I’m not too sure I’ve been following through on that one as I should.

During Lent, we try to perform acts that will draw us closer to Jesus. Simon of Cyrene was drawn very close to Jesus, even when Simon didn’t want to be. He was the stranger the Roman soldiers pulled from the crowd. Jesus’ cross was dumped on his shoulders. Simon helped Jesus on His way to Calvary.
Luke 23: 26–As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.
MEDITATION: Pedro, the new boy, sat down next to me at lunch. He had only a small, crumpled paper bag. No milk or soda. He twisted away from me and pulled out a bruised apple and a little pack of crackers–like the ones the lunch ladies hand out on chili days. That’s all Pedro had for his lunch.

I looked at my sandwich, loaded with meat, cheese, lettuce, and pickles. Plus, I had chips, carrot sticks, raisins, and a giant chocolate chip cookie I helped Mom bake last night. I bit into a chip, but I didn’t feel so hungry anymore. I didn’t need all this food.

With a plastic knife from my lunch kit, I cut the sandwich in two.
“Here,” I said, placing it by Pedro. “I’m not hungry. You want some of this?”

Pedro nodded. “Thanks.”

I pushed the chip bag in-between us. “Take some of these. I won’t be able to eat them all.”

“Okay,” was all Pedro said. But he smiled too and offered me some of his crackers.
By the end of the meal, I didn’t even have to think twice before I broke the cookie in two and gave him the bigger half.  
Have I helped Jesus carry His cross this Lent? Have I reached out to help someone in need? Have I given my time or resources to aid someone else?
Jesus, show me how I can help carry your cross. Show me how to care for others. I know when I treat others with love, I am loving You. Thank You. Amen.

  1. Have your child grocery shop with you. Help him pick a less expensive food (perhaps breakfast cereal) than he usually eats. Collect the saved money during the rest of Lent then help your child donate the money to a needy organization.
  2. Have your child make a list of ways that she could aid members of your family. You could post it on the frig or bulletin board, and she can check off her kind deeds.
  3. Have your child make a list of ways that he could aid students and teachers at school. Again, you can post it in a prominent place and celebrate his loving acts with him.
  4. Help your child sort through her clothes and toys. She could donate gently worn/used items to a homeless shelter.

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