If possible, get together with a corps nearby and hold a Spring Fling. Encourage the women to bring their kids if they cannot find childcare because all the activities can work for kids too. It can be an opportunity to shake off the gloom of winter and celebrate the new, living hope we have in Jesus. By promoting friendship, encouragement, and togetherness, we can help those who are struggling to find support, love, faith, and hope.
Create a fun, colorful party atmosphere with pastel colored plastic tablecloths. Put together quick, easy table centerpieces using Easter grass, glass votives, candles, ribbon, and jellybeans. Spread some Easter grass in the center of the table. Select a glass votive and pair it with a candle. Put the jellybeans in the glass with the candle on top.
Serve lemon bars and fruit skewers as a refreshing spring snack with sparkling flavored water to drink.
During the refreshment time, encourage the women to tell of a time when they felt God’s presence.
Scrambled Eggs Easter Egg Hunt
Fill Easter eggs with a message from the list below. On four of the eggs rather than a message use the letters: H, O, P, E. (These will be used as a part of the devotions.) Encourage the women to find an egg and do the task written inside. You will need one egg per person unless the group is small. These are messages to promote friendship, faith, encouragement, and hope. Have small prizes available for the women who find an egg with a letter. They must bring you the letter to receive the prize.
Messages for Inside Eggs
Tell 2 people, “God loves you.” And give them a hug.
Tell 2 people, “God is powerful.” And strike a pose that shows all your muscles.
Find 2 people, hold hands, and say, “We’re all in this together.”
Tell 2 people, “God is faithful” and do a little happy dance.
Give 2 people a high–five, and tell them, “Don’t give up.”
Tell 2 people, “I’m here for you.” And give them a hug.
Find 2 people and say together, “We’re going to choose hope.”
Give 2 people a high–five and say, “God is in control.”
Tell 2 people, “Hope is contagious.” And do a little happy dance.
Invite the women to create a hope board as a way to manifest and visualize the hope we have in Christ. You will need the following supplies:
- Old magazines
- Glue sticks
- Cardstock—one piece per person, any color
- Leftover craft supplies—glitter, ribbon, stickers.
Ask the women to consider aspects of their lives such as: relationships, ministry, career, leisure, physical fitness. Have them think about where they are now and where they’d like to be. The focus of this craft is to help the women to focused and be intentional about moving from anxiety and fear to confidence and faith in Christ.
Invite them to decorate their piece of cardstock to show where having a living hope could take them. They can cut out words and pictures from a magazine. One example would be to write the name of a teenage daughter in the relationship section. The hope could be to spend more time with her by cooking dinner together. Google “vision board images” for additional ideas or look on Pinterest.
It is said that people without hope will not survive long. A spouse who loses hope gives up on their marriage. A parent who loses hope gives up on their teenager. A leader who loses hope gives up on their people. Without hope, feelings of despair, anxiety, fear, and insecurity begin to rule our lives. Hope is critical but not just any hope. Human hope is often just wishful thinking. I hope it rains today. I hope my team wins today. I hope I get that promotion. Human hope tends to get weaker and weaker as time goes on because it runs on human power. We eventually become exhausted. Our human hope begins to flicker and can be easily extinguished. Living hope has its foundation in God and is powered by God.
Living hope is a blessing that God has given to us. First Peter 1:3 tells us, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Unlike wishful thinking, living hope is an eager, confident expectation. Biblical hope is based on the promises of God, the work of Jesus, and the indwelling of the Spirit. It is not based on human thoughts and feelings but has its foundation in the resurrection of Jesus. Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 6:14 tells us, “By His power God raised the Lord from the dead, and He will raise us also.” Living hope is not based on our strength, but on God’s power. Jesus’ death and resurrection give us eternal hope for eternal life, and it gives us living hope for the here and now.
If this living hope is available here and now, why does it seem to be so elusive at times? The big question, then, becomes how do we get this living hope? We can look to the word “hope” to guide us:
- H is for Holding on. This means we choose to never give up, to never give in. We don’t shrink back in hopelessness but move forward. We are soldiers after all.
- O is for Opening up to others. This means when we feel despair and fear taking over, we choose to talk to others in our Christian family, even if it means we must become vulnerable. We are all in this together.
- P is for Praying continually. This means we choose to lay our burdens at the foot of the cross. We acknowledge that God is good, that He is in control, that He is faithful to His promises, that He is has the needed power. He loves us.
- E is for Encouraging others. This means we choose to demonstrate our trust in God. Encouragement is good medicine for both those on the receiving end and for those on the giving end. As we encourage others to grab hold of the living hope that is available to us all, we strengthen our own hope and faith. Hope is contagious.
Hope is created through the choices we make. We can choose to hold on, to open up to others, to pray, and be encouraged. We can choose to use our thoughts and feelings to minimize despair and actively pursue what is possible. When we grab hold of the living hope, joy replaces despair, faith replaces fear, prayer replaces anxiety and confidence replaces insecurity. Living hope enables us to be a little more like Jesus, to love a little more like Him, even in times of great stress and worry. Let us choose to hope today.