Updated: Apr 6
Hosted by the Faith To Go team in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, David Tremaine and Charlette Preslar, and joined the each week by a special guest, the Faith To Go Podcast highlights themes from the Sunday Gospel reading for you to take into your faith discussions and reflections throughout the week.
Activity Time: Lent Desert Box Week 6 - Hosanna
Supplies: scrap fabric, shears, markers, leaves from the garden (This activity utilizes the desert box that we created in week one of Lent. If you did not have the opportunity to create the box, you can find the instructions for making it HERE)
Instructions: Start out by removing all items from the desert box except for the sand and the rocks. Then have the family go out into the garden and collect one leaf per person. Bring the leaves inside and set them aside. Have one person read The Liturgy of the Palms (Matthew 21:1-11, found at the bottom of this post in the "Bedtime" section). Say, “Let’s celebrate Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem together!” Allow each person to cut a strip of fabric large enough to write on, but still small enough to go in the desert box. Have each person write Hosanna on their strip of fabric and decorate it if they would like to. Place the Jesus rock on one side of the desert box. Trace a road with your fingers down the middle of the box. Have each family member put their rock on one side of the road. Taking turns each family member says, “Hosanna!” and places their strip of fabric on the road. Then each family member says, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” and places their leaf on the road as well. After all of the fabric strips and leaves are on the road, move the Jesus rock from one end of the box to the other.
Here's an example of how you might do the activity:
(inspired by Palm Sunday Godly Play story)
Making Sacred Space in Holy Week: Building a Family Altar In this time when church communities are not able to gather in their worship spaces together, it is especially important for us to create sacred spaces within our homes. Step 1: Find a Space Usually we would choose a space that is relatively quite and set apart. In this season of our communal life though, when many are streaming church at home or looking to create some grounding space in the midst of much chaos, we are going to build the altar in one of the main gathering areas of the house. If you stream your church's service on Sunday mornings, where do you watch it? Try building the altar around this space. Maybe the top of the cabinet under your television, or the surface where you place your computer or laptop to watch together as a family. If you don't stream a service, find a surface in a room where your family gathers regularly that could serve as this sacred space. Step 2: Build your Altar Starting today, and over the next three days, we are going to add things to the altar. Today put down a simple piece of cloth, red or purple would be appropriate for the season, but any color or patter will work. Then, each member of your family can add these items to the altar each day: Sunday (today): add the leaves and fabric strips from the desert box. You could also color and cut out the palm from these Holy Week coloring pages. Monday: add sacred art to the altar. This could be sacred images you have around the house or some that you create. Maybe draw a picture of an important person in your life or a family member that you are missing. It could even be a favorite saint! Tuesday: add some flowers to the altar. These could be picked from outside or created as a craft project using paper, Popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, or felt. Maybe a potted plant from around the house would work well. Wednesday: today add some candles to your altar. Small tea lights will work, or whatever candles you have. Maybe you could even decorate them before placing them on the altar. Step Three: Use Your Altar Now your altar is all set. How might you use the altar over these first three days as a family? You could set a bowl on the altar with small strips of paper and whenever you have a prayer or thanksgiving to offer write it down and place it in the bowl. Maybe you could say a prayer together before meals standing in front of your altar. Remember, keep it simple. It's OK to take things off if it is getting cluttered or plants need to be replaced or you spill the glass of water you were just putting down for one second. The simpler and less cluttered the better. Make sure to check out the Maundy Thursday resources to see what will happen next.
Story Time: Jesus' Triumphal Entry
Watch this video together and then use the discussion questions below to reflect as a family (watch from 0:00 to 3:06).
1. What do you think it looked like in Jerusalem? 2. Why do you think people were so excited to see Jesus? 3. Were there any people who weren’t excited? 4. Why do you think they were so upset? 5. How do you think you would have acted if you saw Jesus?
Dinner Time: Special Meals
Below is a prayer with which to start your meal and then discussion questions to explore this week’s topic with your family while you eat.
Dear God, This week our family is walking with Jesus through Holy Week. Help us to think of Jesus each of the days of this Holy Week. Remind us how much He loved his disciples and how much He loves us. Help us to show our love for our family and the world through kind words and actions. Give us a peaceful heart and help us to be patient with our families during this time that we are all at home together. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Questions: 1. When we heard this week’s Bible story, it talked about Jesus going to Jerusalem for
the Passover. Do you know what that is? 2. Why do you think the Jewish people celebrate Passover? 3. Can you think of a time when our family had a big dinner together that was special? 4. What kinds of things, other than birthdays, does our family celebrate together? 5. What food items are special for our family?
Bedtime: Reflections for Children at the End of the Day
During your bedtime routine, invite your children into a time of reflection about their day, maybe by saying, "Did you know that God really wants to know what happened in your day today, and that God is always listening whenever you need to tell God something?" Then continue with these questions:
1) What are some things that happened today that you want to tell God about?
2) What is one happy thing that happened today? What is one sad thing that happened today?
3) Did you see God or feel God with you when those things were happening? Where did you see or feel God when those things happened today?
4) Read to your children this week’s scripture selection, then ask the questions that follows.
Matthew 21:1-11 (God’s Word, My Voice)
When Jesus and his disciples were at the Mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem, Jesus called two of the disciples and said, “Go into town. Right away you will see a donkey tied up, with a colt. Untie them and bring them here. If anyone asks you what you’re doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will let you take them.” (The prophets had said that the king would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and a colt -- so this pointed to Jesus as that king.) So they went as Jesus asked them to, got the donkey and colt, and Jesus rode into town. There were lots of people around when they heard Jesus was in town. They began to spread their coats on the road in front of them, and cut down branches from the trees, and put them on the road for him to ride on like a carpet. The crowd was shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! He is so blessed. Hosanna way up in heaven!” When they finally reached Jerusalem, everyone was abuzz. “Who could this possibly be that is causing such excitement?” Of course, the crowds answered, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth!”
Did the story remind you of anything that happened in your day today?
5) What are some things that you want to tell God that you are grateful for today?
Share some of your conversations in the comments below: