How to prepare for Hosanna-ing with a bit of make-believe

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem Hippolyte Flandrin-1842

I like this painting that depicts the inaugurating event of Palm Sunday, because it includes children. Look over on the upper, right-hand side. Notice the man holding a baby(!) up over his shoulders? (One can easily miss seeing!)

Show this picture to your kids and point out the taking-flight toddler.

Close up of Christ's Entry into Jerusalem - a painting by HippolyteThere are other kids. Can you find them?

Notice this child in particular… (The one designated with the red arrow in the close-up shot.

Have your child pretend that they are that kid. Place yourself in the painting!

You are witnessing Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem!

What do you see?

What do you smell?

What do you hear?

There were of course, lots of people. Some happy and others not. And probably the usual noise a loud crowd makes.

(“Is he coming yet?” “I can’t see!” “Excuse me, you are stepping on my foot!”)

palm waving-2The Bible tells us there were loud cries of “Hosanna!” (John 12:13). Which was like saying “Save us!”

Go ahead and shout some Hosannas!

Practice for this coming Sunday at FUMC.

(For the lineup of Palm Sunday events at FUMC, see here. There is a lot going on!)

 
Do you suppose there were people at this “parade” who wondered what the Hosanna hoopla was all about?

Why do we celebrate Palm Sunday? (If you’re not sure, go ahead and click on that link to learn more.)

Why did the people greet Jesus with such enthusiasm?

How would you greet Jesus today?

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Photo credits:
Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem by Hippolyte Flandrin, 1842, from FreeChristImages.org, used under license.
Palm Sunday photo from my archives.

I love a parade, don’t you?

It’s Lent!
Rather than giving something up, how about adding daily family faith discussion.
Make it your Lenten investment!

Our current Rotation on the events of Holy Week, covers a lot of scripture. So this post will be the start of several which will provide mini reading plans for small portions of our story. Included are discussion questions for use around the family dinner table. (Or wherever your family is gathered together – perhaps in the car on the way to soccer practice?) Use the chart below to read and talk about this portion of our story… in stages… over the course of several days.

First up: What we now call Palm Sunday!

If you’d like to print out this reading plan/discussion guide, click here.

On what we now call Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into town in a parade

Read Talk about or do…
Matthew 21:7-9 This is like a parade! Describe a parade you’d like to be in.
What town is Jesus entering? (Jerusalem)
Why is this first event in Holy Week called “Palm Sunday?” How do you plan to celebrate Palm Sunday?
Matthew 21:8-9 Imagine the excitement! Does the Bible you are using have a footnote that explains the meaning of the word “Hosanna?”
In Hebrew Hosanna means “save us now,” although over time it had come to be an exclamation of praise. What words do you shout when you are excited and full of appreciation? Shout some worshipful words!
Mark 11:1-6 Take a look at a Bible map (here’s one). Find Jerusalem, Bethany, and Bethphage. Jesus and his disciples walked everywhere. How far did they walk between those towns? What is the furthest you’ve ever walked?
Luke 19:28-34 What would you think if someone asked you to do what Jesus asked? Would you wonder how you’d ever find this colt? Would you be afraid of being accused of stealing?! Would you be anxious to see Jesus riding a never-been-ridden-before, animal? I wonder why Jesus felt that these details were important?
Matthew 21:1-5 Does the Bible you are using help you to discover which prophet said these words? (Hint: Look at Zechariah 9:9)
What sort of king were the people expecting?
+++++A) a riding-on-a-giant-horse, ’m-going-to-whip-everybody-into-shape sort of a king OR
+++++B) a gentle-loving riding-on-a-donkey king?
What sort of king did Jesus turn out to be?
Matthew 21:10,11 Obviously not everyone knew about Jesus! The people had been waiting for hundreds of years for the Messiah! Look up the word “Messiah” in a he dictionary (there is usually one in the back of a Bible).
Matt 21:8,9
Mark 11:8-10
Luke 19:36-38
John 12:12-16
What differences do you notice between these four accounts of this story? Why do you suppose these differences exist? What do you make of John’s reference to looking back on this story after Jesus’ resurrection?
How does it feel to add faith talk for Lent?


Photo credits:
Palm Sunday by Waiting For The Word, licensed on Flickr under a Creative Commons license.