Easter Sunday School Lesson
Illustrated Ministry Activity Pages
EASTER SCAVENGER HUNT
ALL KIDS FROM LITTLE ONES TO HIGH SCHOOLERS! Join in the fun as we host a virtual scavenger hunt. Locate as many items as you can and take a picture of them (together, separate, or in groups, whatever is easiest for you). Then, email the picture(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 8pm. Please include the name(s) of the child(ren). Participants who send photos will receive a little prize when we all return to worshipping together! If you're feeling especially creative, you might see some of your finds featured on our Facebook page and website—try to pick unique or unlikely items that fit each description. Happy hunting!
Today is the day we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his death on Calvary. The source of our term for the Friday before Easter, "Good Friday," is not clear. It may be a corruption of the English phrase "God's Friday."
"Good Friday" is not a universal name for the day. The liturgical title for the day in the Western church was "Friday of Preparation," since the time Jews used the word paraskeue (getting ready) for Friday, meaning the "day of preparation." Popular names for the day are "Holy Friday" among the Latin nations, "Great Friday" among the Slavic peoples, "Friday of Mourning" in Germany, "Long Friday" in Norway, and "Holy Friday" (Viernes Santo) among Hispanic peoples.
The service of Tenebrae, meaning “darkness” or “shadows,” has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Readings trace the story of Christ’s passion and the power of silence and darkness suggests the drama of this momentous day. As lights are extinguished, we ponder the depth of Christ’s suffering and death.
PREPARE FOR WORSHIP
Gather 7 different candles, flashlights, lamps or other lights and place them on a table or other worship space. You will "extinguish" these one by one throughout the service, along with the scripture reader on the screen.
As we commemorate Jesus' death on the cross, make some crafts or artwork that feature the cross:
Today we give thanks to God for the servant ministry of Jesus Christ. As Jesus makes his way to the cross he continues to teach his disciples to carry on his mission of loving God and others.
Maundy Thursday is the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word "Maundy" comes from the Latin mandatum, which means "commandment." On his last night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, and gave them a new commandment to love one another. He also instituted the practice of communion as he shared, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
PREPARE FOR WORSHIP
Set upon a table a pitcher of water, a bowl and a towel. Set the table like you would for an important guest with the color purple if you have it to mark that someone royal is coming. Light a candle to welcome your guest Jesus Christ. Leave an empty seat at the table for Jesus. Gather some bread or crackers and some juice, water or wine and a cup or drinking glass for each person at your table.
I think that one of the most important things to consider during this time is that not all people have the privilege of being "bored" right now. A lot of people are struggling without work, food, and basic needs. Some, who are more vulnerable to infection, may be isolating and avoiding public places to shop for essential items. God calls us to look after one another. Here are some ideas for serving others today:
This week's Scripture: Mark 14:32-42
In this section of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray before he is arrested. His disciples sleep while he prays and worries. It can be hard for kids to understand parts of the Easter story and the week that precedes it. Part of our Sunday school team, Emily and Justin (and their trusty assistant), explain what Holy Week is in this lesson!
Supplemental Scripture: Zechariah 9:9b
This video is a virtual Sunday school devotional about Jesus entering Jerusalem. This story is why we call today Palm Sunday. Feel free to pause the video to discuss the questions with your children.
If you want to wave your own palm, here's one from Illustrated Ministry for you to color and cut out! There are some additional pages for older children as well.
How many letters or pictures have you sent out so far? Some of our appreciation has been appreciated on social media, as one company shared the letter they received on their Facebook account. It was exciting to see the shout out to a kiddo from Polk City UMC on their page and touching to know that these little kind gestures really do make a difference. Keep sending those letters and don't forget how much it means to be appreciated and thanked!
Scripture: John 13:3-16
Today's scripture is comes from the gospel of John. Here, Jesus is depicted washing the feet of his disciples, demonstrating to us how important it is to serve others. Below are two options for explaining this story for kids: a guided Bible story activity for parents or older siblings to lead kids through, and a short video (best for younger kids but fun for all).
Guided Bible story activity:
Bible story video:
Virtual Sunday School
Continue learning with this wonderful lesson brought to you by some of our preschool Sunday school team (and their helpful assistant!).
Below, you'll find a coloring page and a connect-the-dots page. Children can work on these while you livestream worship or do them after!
Illustrated Ministry's resources for the fifth Sunday of Lent.
This week's action for kids is an extension of the thank-you and appreciation letters and pictures from last eek. This time, we've provided the addresses of some service organizations who may be particularly overwhelmed at this time. These organizations are good examples of serving others and help to explain to kids what "serving" really is. You can use the template provided last week and/or use the new one provided today. Some families are putting a check mark next to organizations to which they've already written to keep track! How much appreciation can your family send throughout the week?
List of places to send appreciation (from last week):
Additional service organizations to consider this week:
Bidwell Riverside Center
1203 Hartford Ave.
Des Moines, 50315
DMARC (Des Moines Area Religious Council)
1435 Mulberry St.
Des Moines, 50309
JOPPA Outreach (Food Bank of Iowa)
118 SE 4th St, #120
Des Moines, 50309
WORSHIP--Activities for Kids
Kids can work on the activity pages provided below to stay engaged (or occupied!) while you live stream worship, or you can do them together after worship.
CONNECT--Virtual Sunday School
Join Emily and Justin (from our preschool Sunday School team) as they read a Bible story!
RESPOND--Adapted for Kids
Community helpers often go without a lot of appreciation or recognition, even in the best of times. Now, while most of us are staying home to prevent the spread of germs, these important people are working even harder to keep our communities running. Jesus knew that all people were important, and he spent his life teaching everyone to treat each other with love. It is even more important to show the people in our communities they are appreciated when they might be feeling stressed out or worried.
*Action: Send a letter or draw a picture for one of the community organizations in the list provided below, or choose your own (like a veterinarian, plumber, nurse, electrician, military serviceperson, or anyone else you know who is working during this time of social distancing). There is also a template provided below to print off for younger children, or any child who likes to draw rather than write. (If you want to sign your name, remember to only use your first name!)
*Mail is considered to be generally safe. See below for an excerpt about mail safety from the Center for Disease Control's Website when packages are shipping from outbreak zones.