Here we are again, ready to worship with you and your children! Today we celebrate Palm Sunday with a lift-the-flap book. In addition to the Palm Sunday story we will read the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection to be prepared for celebrating Easter next week! May you and your family be blessed as we remember this Holy Week..
Activity One: Watch the video. The lesson today is “Palm Sunday.” The Adema family has prepared a video for this lesson. Say hello to some more of your Gold Ave. friends.
Activity Two: Discuss the story using provided questions as prompts
Activity Three: Respond to the story by doing an art or serve project. Pray together.
Activity Four: Bless your children
(It’s not an activity, but just a little background on the story for you, the parent, to read.)
The significance of the triumphal entry is magnified by the fact that the story is recorded in all four gospel accounts. Matthew 21:10 tells us, “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’” Jerusalem was quaking with anticipation when Jesus made His entry. The population of the city would most likely have tripled due to those who had come to celebrate Passover. In addition, there were 10 times the usual number of Roman soldiers to guard against any potential uprising from the Zealots. So, it was with soldiers watching, people bustling, and the city almost bursting at the seams that Jesus made His way toward Jerusalem.
Preparing to come down the hillside from the Mount of Olives, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy from Zechariah 9 and sent His disciples to untie a donkey and bring it to Him. The normal pomp and circumstance that would accompany a king entering a city were absent as Jesus approached on a humble donkey with His ragtag disciples following. The tradition of waving palm branches and crying “Hosanna” began 200 years earlier, following the reign of a bloodthirsty Syrian king named Antiochus Epiphanes. After many years, the Maccabees drove the Assyrian army and Epiphanes from Jerusalem. The people spontaneously celebrated by waving palm branches. From that point forward, the palm branch symbolized deliverance from oppression.
The gospel of Mark tells us that as Jesus entered, “Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Mark 11:8–9). The Jewish people had hope that Jesus would be the one to overthrow the foreign rule of Rome; but Jesus was coming with an entirely different kingdom in mind.
Truly, there is no one like Jesus, for no one else would weep compassionately for people who He knew would not only reject Him, but also soon crucify Him. He displays that same compassionate lTruly, there is no one like Jesus, for no one else would weep compassionately for people who He knew would not only reject Him, but also soon crucify Him. He displays that same compassionate love for us.
This week, take time to consider the conscious or unconscious decisions you make in regard to Jesus being your King. Are there areas of your life where you set limits or hold back from relinquishing your will to His will? Even if it feels a bit uncomfortable, talk with Jesus about the difficulties you experience in this area. Openly share with Him your feelings and listen for what He may have to say.
Activity 1: STORY
Last week we learned about how God saved Esther AND the Jewish people when Esther courageously went to the king. God had gone before Esther, and the Jewish people were saved. God used Esther to help preserve His promised Savior.
Watch Palm Sunday video.
Activity 2: DISCUSSION
Ask your child to imagine what it must have been like to be in Jerusalem when Jesus came riding through the streets like a parade. The people cried, “Hosanna!” as a way to praise Jesus.
- I wonder … How would you have felt to see Jesus ride into town on a donkey?
- What did the people say and do when they saw Jesus riding into town?
- What do you think “Hosanna” means?
- Why do we call this day Palm Sunday?
- What were some other things that happened during Jesus’ last week of His life?
- What does this mean for you and me?
- I wonder … What do you say or do when you praise Jesus?
These questions can easily extend into the rest of the week. Look for opportunities to bring conversations about how God Saves into your everyday life as a family.
Today’s Worship Song: Since it´s Palm Sunday here are a few fun songs to help praise Jesus.
Activity 3: RESPONSE ACTIVITY
In today’s part of The Big God Story, God saved His people by sending Jesus to die on the cross and rise again. How can we thank and praise Him for this? Can we find ways to serve others to show God how much we love him. Here is an idea to think of ways to serve others and two art projects to remind us of this last week of Jesus’ life.
Use the permanent marker to write “What needs to be done?” across the top of a piece of paper. Tape this to a wall. Print out the People, Heart, and Tree templates onto colored card stock and cut them out. You’ll want one of each shape per child.
Jesus is our King and Savior. His greatest act of serving was to give up His life on the cross and die so we could be with Him forever. He invites us to serve others too. What does it mean to serve? Pause for responses. When we serve someone, it means we’re putting what we want aside and helping someone else. What are some ways you can serve God this week? Interact with responses. Those are great thoughts! We can serve another person, like a family member or someone in your neighborhood. Show the person shape. We can tell others about God’s love. Show the heart shape. We can serve God by caring for the animals and the world He created. Show the tree shape.
Let’s all spend a few moments asking God what needs to be done and listening to what He says. Invite children to spend a few moments praying silently, asking God how they can serve Him this week. Then, children can select a shape that best fits how they want to respond to God. Give children time to write or draw on the shape and attach it to the poster board using a glue dot. Let children know they can also leave the shape blank, if they prefer.
Close by praying that God would help your children serve in their families, communities, and world this week.
Palm Sunday page to color:
Supplies to make 2 Hosanna Branch Wavers:
- Green construction paper- 4 sheets
- 4-8 ice-cream/pop sticks
- A pencil
- Glue sticks or glue dots
- Outline your child’s hand on the green construction paper. (Make a minimum of 6 outlines. 8-10 will make your child’s waver really wave!)
- If your child is old enough to use a pair of scissors, allow him/her to cut around the hand print outlines. Otherwise, leave this part to the adult supervising the craft.
- Now stick the hand print outlines two on each row and build on upwards.
- Finally tape two ice-cream sticks to the bottom of the “branch” securely with the cello-tape. (I stuck two ice-cream sticks on top of each other and made the kids’ handles thicker.)
Activity 4: CLOSING BLESSING
A blessing to pray over your child(ren):
“Children, may you always celebrate Jesus as your King!”
Pray with your kids, asking them if they have any prayer requests and encouraging them to pray for others. Have a blessed week!
Note: Please let us know about how your family is enjoying Children’s Worship! Take some pictures of your family participating in Children’s Worship or share a story. You can post to the Gold Avenue Church Facebook page or send by email at firstname.lastname@example.org