April 9, 2017
Bible Reference: Matthew 21:1-11
I. Welcome: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.)
II. Church Practice:
The cloth on our Children’s Chapel altar is purple because we are in the sixth week of the season of Lent. Who would like to move the arrow on our liturgical calendar? (Allow one child to come up to the calendar to move the arrow forward one week.) The arrow is now pointing to the sixth purple square which is the same color as the cloth that we have on our altar. You will also notice that in big church the altar frontal, church dressings, and clergy stoles are purple. This is also the beginning of Holy Week, or the week leading up to Easter. (light altar candles) We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world. We remember that God is always with us, that Jesus lives in our hearts and that we are inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit. Before we begin our Bible lesson today, let us pray.
III. Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are here to worship and praise you. Open our hearts and minds so that we may hear your words spoken to us through the Bible story today. As we begin Holy Week draw us near to you and give us strength that we may serve you through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
IV. Introduction: How many of you know what these are? (Hold up the palm branches.) You are right! These are branches from a palm tree. In the country where Jesus lived, the palm tree was everywhere. The branches of the palm were a symbol of victory and joy. During the time of Jesus, people used to wave palm branches as they cheered in celebration when an important person such as a king rode through the streets of town. On the Sunday before he was crucified or nailed to the cross, Jesus rode through the streets of Jerusalem on the back of a small donkey. As he rode along, people waved Palm branches and shouted and cheered. They shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" The people cheered Jesus as their King. Let’s listen to the Bible story now about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.
V. Bible Story: Matthew 21:1-11
21When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 5“Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” 6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
VI. Response: Just a few days after he rode into Jerusalem and was hailed a king, Jesus was arrested, tried, and led to a hill called Calvary to be crucified. The cheers that he had heard on Sunday now turned to jeers. Many of the people who just a few days before shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" had now turned against him. They were now shouting "Crucify Him! Crucify Him! He is not our king. We have no king but Caesar." They were even offered the choice of whether to free a criminal named Barabbas or to free Jesus. They chose to free Barabbas and crucify Jesus. Many of His once-faithful followers had forsaken him.
Today on Palm Sunday we enter Holy week. (Show Palm Sunday and Holy week cards as you explain each.) We remember Jesus’ last days with us on earth and we give thanks for his gift of his life for us upon the cross so that we may have everlasting life with him. Let us pray:
VII. Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who lived among us and who died upon the cross so that we may be able to have everlasting life with you through him. Amen.