Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Here he is, washing his friends' feet! Does that seem strange to you? It seemed strange to them, too, because it was the servant's job to wash everyone's dusty feet before a meal. The leader, the teacher, shouldn't do the servants' job! But Jesus wanted to teach them that really important people need to look after ordinary people, instead of bossing them about. He told them that they would never be really important unless they helped other people instead of helping themselves.
Then he took the bread and the wine, which were a big part of the special meal, and did something new with them. He broke the bread and told them: 'This is my body'. Then he showed them the cup of wine and said: 'This is my blood. I am giving them both for you all.' His friends didn't quite understand what he meant, but they remembered it all very carefully. Even if you don't understand what he meant either, just remember it, and we'll see if we can understand it later this week...
Question for younger children: What do you like best about special meals with your family? Is it it the food, or the people, or maybe the fun you have together?
Question for older children: Can you explain why Jesus washed his friends' feet? Why do you think some of his friends didn't like it at first? j
Activity: You could put a little bit of bread and some red fruit juice in a cup next to your Easter Garden, to help you remember this special meal.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
If you click on her blog link, you'll be able to see which magazines I sent her - we are doing a 'compare and contrast' between British and American House Beautiful, which I for one am really excited about - it's one of my favourites.But this is also my first ever viewing of American Country Living, and I'm a devotee of the British one, so this is really exciting too. So exciting, that I'm saving it for a housework and childfree moment, which somehow hasn't occurred yet... I'll post you some pictures when I've really studied everything.
Thanks very, very much, Sherri!
But suddenly he saw something happening that helped him to explain part of what he wanted to say - he saw rich, important people, dropping loads of money into the temple collecting place, letting everyone know how rich and generous they were! Then he saw a poor woman drop in a tiny coin. 'What a rubbish gift for the temple!' thought the rich people. But Jesus knew differently.
Monday, March 29, 2010
You can see who got really mad with him, though - it's the important people again, who wonder where on earth Jesus gets his ideas from. They want to stop him before he does anything else to change the way things work. They like things the way they are!
Question for younger children: Was Jesus being naughty when he got angry?
Question for older children: Is it always wrong to get angry? What things DO we do wrong when we get angry?
Your Easter Garden is ready for now - we'll add different things to it as the week goes on. If you like, you could put a little donkey into it today, to remember how Jesus came into Jerusalem.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I wanted to write the series for children because this bit, full of stories, actions and tangible objects like palm branches, coats, bread, wine, even nails, is where they can begin to understand what is going on and truly prepare for Easter in a way that the abstract ideas of Lent can't offer them.
But suddenly one day, Jesus decided to go right into Jerusalem to celebrate the big festival of Passover. His friends thought he was mad! ‘You’re going to get into big trouble!’ they said, but Jesus knew it was time to go, and he got ready.He sent some friends to borrow a donkey, and he rode right into the city on the cute little animal. The ordinary people came out to meet him and were so happy to see him!They treated him as if he was a king, but a king on a cute little donkey instead of on a big, white war horse! They gave him a king’s welcome, waving branches of palm trees like flags, and putting down their coats in the road for the donkey to walk over.
Don't do this with your coat, please!
Activity idea: find something to wave ( leaves, flags, your coat?) and shout 'Hosanna', which is what the children shouted when Jesus rode into Jerusalem. It means 'Save us', because they were sure Jesus was a king who would save them from their enemies. If you have a toy donkey, get it out and let it ride over leaves and coats!
Question for anyone still paying attention: Why on a donkey, not a horse?
Saturday, March 27, 2010
For a long time Jesus lived quietly and did his job. People liked him but he didn’t seem special. Then suddenly, when he was about 30, God told him to leave his work and start a new job – the job of showing people God’s love.
Jesus was the very best person for this job. When people were sick he made them better.
The important people hoped he wasn’t really God, so they decided he was just a big liar who was going to get into big trouble one of these days. But the ordinary people wondered, perhaps he really IS God? Everyone kept on listening to Jesus, to find out what he was going to do next…
Notes for adults: Adapt this as you like! I will tell the stories of Holy Week, and include an activity and/or the development of an Easter Garden each day. There will also be some open-ended questions for younger and older readers – it’s important to let the children answer any way they like, as there are no right or wrong answers, just a chance to let children think about what the stories mean to them. Have fun!
You might like to get these props and craft materials ready as the week goes by:
Sunday - a toy donkey (ours comes from our farm set), some leaves or a coat!
Monday - a container and some soil, stones and moss to make a little garden
Wednesday - a cup, plate and some bread and red juice
Friday - some small sticks and string
Thursday, March 25, 2010
There they will remain until Easter Day...