What’s the scoop from the Garden of Gethsemane?

This Rotation is producing lots of media: movies of drama skits and photos of Lego-creations that tell our story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Take a look and see!

In the Art/Photography Workshop…

Kids started off hearing the story and creating a garden of olive trees (from paper lunch bags!)

In the Art Workshop, 1st students created trees for the garden scene

Then they re-created the story using their trees and Lego™ people. (Click on a photo to see a larger view.)

The 1st and the 4th graders worked in groups to each create a scene:

The 3rd graders were a small group that week (it was the start of a school break week):

The 2nd grade creations:

2nd grader ponders the storyHmm… Let’s see. First they went to the garden of olive trees…

 
(Remember, you can click on the smaller photos to make them appear larger.)

And finally, the 5th grade creations:
(This class also worked in groups.)

In the Drama Workshop…

The 5th grade puts on a humorous skit:

Watch the 3rd grade version:

Watch the 1st & 4th grade version:

In the Cooking Workshop…

The 2nd grade made (and ate) prayer pretzels. They are so eager to learn how to twist a pretzel. (Yes, there is a technique.) As your kids visit the Cooking Workshop, ask them to tell you the story of how the pretzel ties to prayer.

Cooking - making prayer pretzels

Making Prayer Pretzels Forming Prayer Pretzels

In the Prayer Yoga Workshop…

prayer yogaKids learned about praying with your body.

Watch the video that they followed in class. It includes yoga poses and prayer. We started at the 1:30 mark and only watched about 25 minutes of this video. There is more! Try it out with your family at home.

 
Join us for the fun! See the schedule of workshops here.


Photo credits:
Photos by Tom Gardner & myself.

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What sort of fascinated fan are you raising?

Young sports fanAre you raising a “Go Blue” sports fan? (Or perhaps a “Go Green”?) If you are a fan of a certain team, it’s very likely that your kids are too.

You are probably not intentionally raising such a child – drilling the Michigan fight song every night or teaching them player nuances – it just sort of happens doesn’t it? Because you are interested, they become predisposed.

What about raising a Jesus fan?

Is that just “happening” in your household without any effort on your part?

I’ll admit, when my kids were young, I did not focus much on raising them to be disciples of Christ. My thinking went along the lines of:

  • Who me? I can’t do that. (That’s the church’s job.)
  • I don’t know enough. (I didn’t go to Bible school.)
  • I’ll screw them up / turn them off to religion. (I’ll probably say something wrong!)
Raising a Jesus fan takes some intention.

Does it help you to know that Jesus struggled with the role he was to play in God’s plan of redemption for the world?

We see it prominently in the Garden Of Gethsemane, the spot where Jesus and his followers went after the Passover meal (the one we now call the Last Supper). Jesus knew he faced imminent distressing events — arrest, torture, and death on a cross. At this critical juncture, Jesus is compelled to spend time with God in prayer.

Spend Time in Prayer.

Share your feelings of uncertainty with God. Jesus did. Matthew describes a time of intense agony in amongst the olive trees, with Jesus’ words expressing his anguish:

Open quote markMy Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering away from me.

This is like Jesus saying: “If it is possible, can’t we do this in some other way?”

Christians believe that in Jesus, God became fully human; he was a human being who faced temptations and feelings of anxiety! Isn’t it freeing to realize that we don’t have to stand up to pressures and trials with super-sized strength? It is okay to be fearful, questioning, angry, and to feel agony.

It is okay to struggle!

We know from the prayer that Jesus prayed in the garden, that in the very same sentence of asking for a different path, Jesus turns and submits completely to God, “I want your will, not mine.” This is not an admission of defeat; he says it with a cadence of perfect trust.

Acting as Jesus did can be a tough pill to swallow. Here’s what I tell myself when faced with something I’m unsure I really have the guts to do:

Do the next thing. Do it with prayer.

a blue line

Here’s something to pursue this week: Be on the lookout for a “trigger” which prompts a short burst of prayer.

A collage of green thingsTaking a cue from the Garden of Gethsemane, when you see something green (a houseplant, some produce, a stray toy) thank God for the ability to speak openly with him in prayer!

Try this out yourself for a couple of days. Then report back to your kids. Get them onto the hunt for a little green prompting.

What spiritual practice can you include in your family’s life this Lent? How will you plant seeds of faith in the lives of your Jesus fans?

Stay tuned for other Lenten prayer hints.


Photo credits:
Young sports fan by PublicDomainPictures, and the collage of green things – from other artists – all who licensed these photos on Pixabay under a Public Domain Dedication.

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