[Liturgy of the Palms - March 28, 2010
Vanderbilt Divinity Library's Revised Common Lectionary]
In all of these posts I throw out lots of ideas... no one's saying do all of it. Pick one. These are thoughts, ideas, that I think can be presented to or rather shared with children.
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29(NIRV)
where were the children?
thanksgiving - always saying thank you
God is good - who is good to you? what do they do?
Faithful love that continues forever - who always loves you? (real people)
Opening the gate, opening the door - who's door? who can go through the door?
"I will give thanks to you, because you answered me.
You have saved me." thank you! you answered me! when did someone do that? God does too! thank you! you saved me! when did someone do that? God does too!
The stone that the expert builders rejected became the most important stone. What would that look like to children? Build a rock house. What rocks work and what rocks don't?
Be happy for the wonderful things God does - like what?
"Lord, save us.
Lord, give us success." What do your children need help succeeding at? Pray together. If they can't write let each child whisper in your ear. Write it on a slip of paper and put it in a box and pray that God will help with all those things.
"From the temple of the Lord we bless you." - who can you pray for? who can you bless?
"The Lord is God.
He has made the light of his favor shine on us.
Take branches in your hands. Join in the march on the day of the feast." God has shown us that He's happy with us that's why we can take palms in our hands and join in the festivities.
worship: "You are my God, and I will give thanks to you.
You are my God, and I will honor you.
Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good.
His faithful love continues forever." Children can learn to say this. How do you honor someone?
Luke 19:28-40 (NIRV) Here is the story of Jesus & the palms
where were the children?
Your older kids can probably begin to remember places and the events (or stories) that took place there: Bethany, the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem... Put a map on the wall and pictures for each event that happened there.
Your kids may not relate to a desert environment but Jerusalem is a big city. Some children live in big cities. A village is not a big city. Some children live in villages. Some children live in the countryside. Just points of association for kids to give them a sense of place.
A donkey's colt - big? little? Jesus- Big? Little? What is an animal like who has never been ridden? The significance of a donkey's colt as opposed to a grown-up donkey? A war horse or a stallion? Have there been donkeys in any other Bible stories or stories about Jesus? I read something about the donkey vs the war horse, once. Can't remember where. I think it had to do with Jesus coming in peace. Include info about times & customs & such for older kids.
How would you feel if some stranger were taking your animal? Friend of a friend?
Would you throw your coat on a dusty road for a donkey to walk on? They didn't have dry cleaners. They didn't have washers & dryers. How did they wash their clothes? What would they need? Water? Easy to find in a desert?
The people were so grateful! Would you stand in the streets with your friends and worship God and sing? As Jesus walked along the road they worshipped God. They blessed Jesus. They publically and literally sang His praise and thanked Him for all the wonderful things He did.
They referred to him as king while another king ruled their land. Yet they weren't crying for a take-over. They called out, ". . . may there be peace and glory in the highest heaven. . . "
Why did the religious leaders want Jesus' disciples to stop? What did Jesus say? Imagine the religious leaders forcing all those people to stop and then the stones crying out to worship God instead...imagine! That would make for an interesting Palm Sunday activity - painting happy, joyful, singing faces on rocks and lining them up by the doors.