Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Palm Sunday

Church in the morning, cantata in the afternoon.
I had the children's sermon on the verses Matt. 21: 1-11. When I looked at this passage I saw that there were two important things in this story besides Jesus, and both of them were predicted in Old Testament verses that were quoted in this passage. Zech. 9:9 said "your king comes ...gentle and mounted on a donkey, and Psalm 118:25-27 talked about praising with hosannas and palm branches. Both the palm branches and the donkey were symbolic. I thought it would be fun for the kids to have a palm branch and a donkey to take home and pretend with. I made little palm leaves out of two layers of felt hot glued together around a length of floral wire so they could be bent. The donkey was a tiny old fashioned clothes pin painted with acrylic paints and finished with hot glued googly eyes and yarn mane. If the kids are very young you may want to leave out the wire and paint on the eyes for safety.

Palm branches had a symbolic meaning from ancient times of triumph and victory as in war, and the word "hosannah" meant "save us now." The people saw Jesus as an earthly king and one who would save them from the Romans. However, Jesus rode in on a donkey. The donkey was a symbol of peace. I asked the kids if they would rather have a horse or donkey (we live in a farming community, and they were definite about the superiority of horses!) Horses were symbols of war and power. By riding a donkey, Jesus was showing that he was not a powerful earthly king but a king who came to die for us.

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