The Vanderbilt Library calls this "The Liturgy of the Passion" (NRSV)
Isaiah 50:4-9a •
Isaiah 50:4 reminds me of the story of Samuel.
"Teacher" - can you think of an activity where each child has a turn teaching another child how to do something simple - an activity that requires listening? Example: One child is blindfolded and one child tells the blindfolded person how to....[something very simple]
Fun listening games to be better listeners (recognizing loud/soft, fast/slow, hi/low pitch, recognizing different sounds on a tape, recognizing who is speaking behind a sheet)
vs 50:6-9a Usually punishment and rebellion go together but the speaker says in the previous verse, "I was not rebellious..." In these verses someone is being hurt. Someone is being shamed but they've done nothing wrong, how do they respond? Where is God?
Psalm 31:9-16 •
Distress & grieving. Have you ever felt like this? Do you know someone who feels like this? What did they ask God for? When someone is gracious to you, what does it look like? What does it feel like? If you are gracious to someone else? Vs. 11. Did you ever feel like that?
What do you do with a broken glass or cup? Did you ever feel like that?
What about the feeling that nobody likes you. Everyone is out to get you?
I don't know that we see the Psalms as so full of so many different feelings and passion. They are a really good opportunity to talk about feelings and sharing our feelings with God. They are a good opportunity to remind children that God hears. The Psalmist talked to God. He also talked to God remembering who God is and what God could do. Sometimes he hoped God would intervene. Sometimes he knew, he expected God to intervene.
The Psalmists shows us how to pray when we feel the same way he felt when he wrote the Psalm or when we are in similar situations. Sometimes he said, "Deliver me!" "Lord, please, get me out of here!"
Philippians 2:5-11 •
Think like Jesus...how do I do that? He was God. He was born a man. He became a servant. Who did He serve? What makes you say that?
God & Man - what's the same? what's different?
Full and empty. What does that look like? A cup? A basket? What else can you use to think about full & empty? What are we full of? What do we look like when we're full of ______? What do we look like when we're empty? How do we act?
What's a slave? Was it always a bad thing? If a slave was loved and cared for and they loved their master was it bad?
What is humble? What does it look like? What is "obedient to the point of death"? Who was Jesus obeying?
What does it look, feel, sound like when everyone bows? in your class room? In your church? Imagine it in your school, your town, your family...when every tongue says "Jesus is Lord."
Imagine it! Who gets the glory?
Luke 22:14-23:56 or Luke 23:1-49
The first is the communion story. I think I posted about this somewhere else. You can tell the story with dolls for younger kids. Older kids can act it out while you read it.
Are there other stories in scripture about cups? About bread? About wine? About Passover? About Jesus & His disciples eating and drinking together? About Jesus & blood? What about covenant?
The OT was about God's covenant w/Israel. What is a covenant? What are the stories that came from God's covenant with Israel? How did they affect the children?
Jesus was always talking about the Kingdom of God. What did He say? What more is He telling His disciples during that last supper together?
"Woe to you!" What does that mean? If you get to judge, what does that mean?
The story of Jesus and Peter - another story. Jesus prayed for Peter. What does it mean to sift wheat - not the abstract but the concrete? Use a sifter. Show them.
The story of Jesus praying in the garden - another story. The arrest of Jesus - another story. Jesus' story is different from Peter's story. Jesus' story continues after he was arrested so does Peter's but they are different. They overlap. The story of what happened between Jesus' arrest and His conviction. How many of us have gone to prison? Jesus did. He wasn't guilty but He went to prison. You have the story of Jesus on the cross. Jesus' story continues after He dies.
Different parts of the story, different details, will mean more or less to different ages and experiences.
There are concretes that you can introduce to your younger kids to help them better understand the story. There are customs you can introduce to older kids. You have character observations and decision-making questions... Besides Jesus, and keeping Jesus in the center or our attention, there are many many characters and perspectives to consider in these stories.
We hear these stories every year of our church life but because it is God's living Word there's always something new to see and understand. For the kids you have, their ages and experience what part of this story about Jesus will mean the most to them?