Jesus Rides on a Donkey (Palm Sunday)
A few years back, our church started what has become one of my favorite traditions. On Palm Sunday all the children and youth come into the sanctuary toward the end of the music time waving palm branches as the entire congregation sings “Hosanna” and makes a joyful noise. It is one of the few times throughout the year that we all worship together, and it is a beautiful experience every time. So as we went through the Week 31 lesson plan from the ABC Jesus Loves Me 3-Year Old Curriculum I was not only trying to teach the Bible story but also prepare Ian and Elijah for this joyous Palm Sunday celebration. I wanted them to know why we wave the palm branches and to be able to sing along because they had been hearing the song all week.
We kept things pretty simple. I introduced the story by singing “Hosanna” to the boys. They looked at me kind of funny, so then I told them it was part of our Bible story and they eagerly gathered around the flannel board to hear Mark 11:1-10. To be honest, I think they still thought I was a little crazy, but they got into the story more as the week went on. We read from The Beginner’s Bible (by Karyn Henley), The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, and The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers, as well as listening to our iPod playlist (see below) several times. By the end of the week Ian was singing “Hosanna” at the top of his lungs as we drove in the car and asked me to stop singing so he could “do it by myself” (luckily he couldn’t see the Elijah was still singing quietly or I’m sure we would have had some issues).
Of course when Sunday came along, he was too shy to sing along with the congregation, but I think he was pleased that he could have done it if he had so chosen. And Elijah knew just what to do with his palm branch when he heard the worship team start singing “Hosanna” I didn’t take any pictures during the service, but the boys brought their branches home to play with later.
Here was our iPod playlist:
- “Hosanna” by Carl Tittle on Change My Heart, Oh God (Kids) CD
- “Hosanna” from Hide ’em in Your Heart Vol. 1 by Steve Green
- “Jesus Enters Jerusalem” from the ESV Audio Drama Children’s Bible from Faith Comes By Hearing (also the song “Got to Sing and Shout”)
- “Hosanna to the King” from Fruit of the Spirit: Notorious Orange
- “Hosanna (Blessed is the King)” from Great Big God 3 (God’s Love is Big)
I also got out a few of our Easter books that mentioned Jesus’ “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem, but I’ll include those in my post on what we do next week as we talk about the death, burial, and especially the resurrection of our Lord.