Mission Accomplished Easter Devotional Review

Mission Accomplished: A Two-Week Family Easter Devotional is a perfect little family devotional, and I recommend it to you, you giants, you lilliputians, you readers of The Giant.

It is simply written and designed, but the simplicity is the "Jesus cast a look on me" kind, not the "box of chocolates" kind. The writing is perfectly gauged so that it can be read aloud and understood by all the members of the family without being boring or condescending.

Such simplicity looks easy, but is difficult to achieve. Scott James nailed it, to his credit. Here's a brief example.
The criminals on the two crosses next to Jesus show us that Jesus is ready to save anyone who has faith in him. One criminal refused to believe Jesus and remained separated from God, but the other criminal saw who Jesus really was and trusted in him as Rescuer.
Here, clearly, is a theology buff who talks to his kids intelligently but remembers their frames. Children are smart. What you have over them is experience and knowledge. Shepherding requires sweet simplicity. Eschew obfuscation, or even my temptation, which would be overwrought poesy.

But the writing isn't really the reason I got excited when I examined the book. It is its structure that is simple, beautiful, and useful.

The first half of the book covers Holy Week, and the second Easter Week. The brief devotions begin on Palm Sunday and progress through to the Saturday after Easter, what the Easterners call Bright Saturday. The readings and lessons, obviously, are relevant to those particular days. The children walk deliberately through death and resurrection in a well-thought-out way.

Each day's reading and lesson are brief and elegant, with a Think About It and a Talk About It section. This is followed by a Pray About It, which often has a personalized missional slant to it, reinforcing to the family that Jesus came to save the world and is even now accomplishing it through the commission he gave to all Christians, including our children.

And finally, the bit of the book's structure that really made me fall in love: each day includes stuff that you do with your body. Many of the days have a Sing About It section in which we sing familiar hymns such as The Church's One Foundation and Christ the Lord Is Risen Today. And many of the days have a Family Activity, which is usually a craft, but can also be a simple deed of love and mercy. The reason this struck me as particularly poetic is that Easter, along with Christmas, is essentially incarnational. And Easter is the validation of the Incarnation. The cosmos, the world, is made right, and even now is being made right. Our lives on earth are vindicated, and the things we do have meaning and purpose. So Scott James urges us to do things. This is what separates this particular Easter devotional from many others.

In our family we have devotional readings, and we do something more hands-on, like Resurrection Eggs. This book has integrated all of that in a easy-to-do format. I recommend it to you, brother.