Broken: a Palm Sunday invitation
Sunday, April 5, 2020 — family resources for continuing our sermon series on the need to address our own brokenness, pain and trauma
As our congregation has made the decision to move to a digital online format for our Sunday Family Gathering due to COVID-19, FirstPresKids is here to provide resources that can help you create your own at-home family worship experience or supplement the one that will be streamed on Sunday mornings, 10PST from FirstPres Hayward.
NOTE: You can also go to the FPK YouTube Channel to view most (not all) of these materials on our Palm Sunday Worship @ Home Playlist.
Focus: The focus of Palm Sunday is usually an exciting celebration where we go to church and wave palms, welcoming Jesus — Jesus’ “triumphal entry.” But what does it mean to welcome Jesus on this day? Jesus, who was human, who knew he was walking towards his death, who knew the cheering crowd would turn against him, who chose a donkey not a war horse to ride, who wept, who was heavy with human suffering and pain?
Objective: To be reassured that as a human, Jesus recognizes our human pain and walks and weeps with us on our paths. We are not alone and we don’t need to be afraid of big feelings. We should not hide from our big feelings on the parade sidelines like the crowd on Palm Sunday — instead Jesus calls us to lay down our palms of constant celebration that hide our faces and courageously follow him on his human path of pain, healing and transformation — weeping as he wept; showing empathy as he did; caring for our whole mind, body and spirit; and practicing atonement (making things right with people who we hurt).
Opening or Closing Prayer: Dear God, Wow! We feel some BIG feelings. Especially right now, when we are nervously trying to stay safe and healthy at home or when all the things we normally do are cancelled, like sports and other activities. Some of us have family members who have lost jobs or who have to go to work and we worry about them too. Some of us are hungry and unsure about where our next meal will come from. God, we know that it is OK to feel our feelings. That you are with us. That Jesus is with us. We pray that you help us to have courage to feel our feelings and not run away from them — Jesus didn’t run from his feelings or from the cross or from us. Help us to live like Jesus: feeling BIG feelings; being empathetic to others; taking care of our own unique hearts and minds; recognizing when we hurt others and making it right — so that we can ALL heal and transform the world’s pain. Amen.
- John 12:12–27
- “Palm Sunday: an invitation to walk the path of Jesus” (video by FPK!)
- How is the story of Palm Sunday usually told? How did the crowd feel?
- How did Jesus experience Palm Sunday? What do you think he was feeling? What do you think Jesus’ face looked like as he walked through the crowd?
- Why do you think Jesus chose a simple donkey instead of a fancy horse?
- Why do you think Jesus kept walking through the crowd? What kept him going even though he knew the crowd would turn against him soon?
Parent/Caregiver Resources: Palm Sunday is a story on it’s own to consider/reconsider, but this Sunday is also about reviewing what we have covered over the course of the sermon series:
- Broken: Jesus Wept (Emotional Literacy and Empathy) — recognizing our feelings and extending empathy as Jesus did
- Broken: Health (Our Unique Needs) — knowing everyone is created differently by God and we all need different ways to care for our hearts, minds, souls
- Broken: An Apology (Why and How We Apologize) — practicing atonement and making amends so we don’t transfer our pain to others
Videos for Kids:
- Emotional Literacy: “Emotions” — StoryBots Super Songs Episode 8 | Netflix Jr
- Empathy: Sesame Street: Mark Ruffalo: Empathy.
- God Created Us Differently: “Slugs and Bugs — God Made Me” (Song)
- Heart, Mind, Soul Care (Self-Care/Mental Health): “A to Z of coping strategies”
- Apologies/Atonement: “Saying I’m Sorry is the First Step Strategy Song” and “Really, Really Sorry: For Yom Kippur, the Sparks say SLICHA!” — this is a video from the Jewish tradition that explores the Old Testament practice of seeking atonement/reconciliation
- Follow the leader! Play with your child or siblings. Take turns choosing “easy paths” and “rough paths” around the house or in an outside space if you have access to one. Talk about how we all have different paths, about Jesus’ path and his desire that we follow in his footsteps as disciples.
- Draw a donkey: “How to Draw A Donkey” — the tutorial is for a “Nativity” donkey, but the donkey that carried Jesus was just as important and a reminder of Jesus’ humble and human beginnings
- Gather cuttings of green plants from your yard (with parent permission to go outside and to pick them!) and “press” them as a reminder of what you learned on Palm Sunday about “putting down” our palms to follow Jesus: “How to Press Flowers & Leaves”
- Leaf printing: “Leaf Print Activity for Kids”
Books: libraries are closed and you may not have time to order books, but check out the lists below and often a quick internet search will turn up a video version of many picture books. Or scroll down for my two quick picks that you can “read” online!