Does anyone know the special name we use for this Sunday? Allow children to answer. This Sunday is called Palm Sunday. We are going to read about why it’s named Palm Sunday in a minute but before we do I want to talk to you about what happens between Palm Sunday and Easter. Read children “Jesus Gets Ready to Die” from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B. It does an excellent job of explaining that Palm Sunday is the beginning of a sad story. Today we are going talk about how the story begins.
Have you ever seen someone important arrive somewhere? Maybe in a movie, or on TV? What was it like when that important person arrived? Allow children to answer. They may describe a movie star on the red carpet or the president’s entourage. When the people see someone important how do they act? Allow children to answer. In Jesus’ time someone really important, like a king or a Roman general, would have ridden into town on a magnificent horse…but Jesus does something different. Let’s read to find out what happened when Jesus came to Jerusalem. Read Mark 11:1-11 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B.
Jesus made a choice to enter into the Jerusalem in a different way than a king or Roman general. What did he do differently? Allow children to answer. Jesus chose to enter into Jerusalem on a donkey. Mark also tells us that Jesus plans to return the donkey to it’s owner. Which is different than what a king or Roman soldier would have done. And yet, as Jesus enters into Jerusalem he is treated like a king. Not because of how Jesus comes into Jerusalem, in fact Mark tells us that Jesus remains silent…Jesus doesn’t ask to be treated like someone special. He is treated like a king by the people! Think back to how important people are treated nowadays. You told me that people scream and cheer and take pictures. I think the people of Jerusalem also screamed and cheered for Jesus. They didn’t take pictures of course, but what did they do? Allow children to answer. They laid down their cloaks and palm branches so that even the donkey would have a soft place to walk. Every year on Palm Sunday we remember that Jesus never asked to be someone important. And yet because of the love he showed everyone, people will always remember him that way. Even now, many Many MANY years later we still lay down Palm leaves to honor Jesus.
Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home.
I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions.
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