We had a great Palm Sunday, how about you?
Of course it started out with kids waving palm branches. :)
Then Noah got help lead his favorite song, "Hosanna." You can't hear it well, but he sang every word! (He really did pick this as his favorite song on his own, without persuasion from his Easter-loving mom. :) Ever since he heard it last Palm Sunday he has loved it and asks to sing it every day.)
Remember all those kids that came last week? Only 2 came this week, the 2 that have families that come every week, and one is Noah... that is pretty typical for this ministry. It is kind of hard not to be disappointed and makes it very hard to plan, but that is just how it is. But we did have a couple of sweet boys visiting for the week. And we always have a good time, no matter how many are there.
We talked about what "hosanna!" means--save us--and acted out Palm Sunday.
When it was Noah's turn to be Jesus his buddy said she wanted to be the donkey and Noah was happy to go along with that.
We talked about what "Holy Week" is and some of the other things that happened, including reading about Jesus washing the disciples feet out of one of our favorite books ever, the Jesus Story Book Bible. Then to talk about Good Friday I read another of my favorite books, "The Tale of Three Trees." If you have never read this book, you are missing out! The tie-in to Good Friday is that one of the trees is made into the cross. . . "And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God."
We also made these really cool crosses where you fold a paper and then make 1 cut and unfold it to a cross shape. (It's really not very hard either!)
The cross can become this giant symbol of sin and a way to talk about feeling bad for your bad and almost shaming people into following Christ. Don't get me wrong, realizing the weight of our sin and that we need Jesus and what he did is absolutely necessary, and it scares me how that sometimes seems to be left out these days. But if we leave it there and make that all the cross is about, I think we are kind of missing the point. I am a big fan of the cross as a bridge analogy. Because what was accomplished through that "paying for our sins" thing was the way for us to get back to God, for God to have what He wanted in the first place--to be with the children he created and loves. I asked the kids to think about the idea that God really likes them, not just loves them. I know the word "like" doesn't sound very Sunday School-y or theology-y, but it's true. God wants to be with us; He made us to have a relationship with Him; He really likes us.