Home Equipping Leaders Children Holy Week House Party 2024

Holy Week House Party 2024

By Kevin Johnson

Adaptable easter egg hunt 72px

Instructions to Parents/Guardians

We hope that this resource will provide activities that will bless your entire family this Holy Week and Easter season. This year, families will also gather with their church families to celebrate an Easter egg hunt or observe Holy Week activities. The following is designed for families to provide a continuation of conversations around the events that led up to Easter morning. We applaud families that take the opportunity to share the stories of Holy Week and Easter— stories that we can also share with our church family.

The Holy Week activities may be used in a variety of ways. They could be done throughout Holy Week or in their entirety on Easter Sunday. We recognize that, for some, the Holy Week activities might take place entirely indoors due to weather conditions. Or families might be able to join with neighboring families. Church leaders may want to use this resource for the entire church family. It is designed with flexibility in mind. We encourage finding creative ways for r families to celebrate this Easter season.

It is recommended that you use this resource in combination with Discipleship Ministries’ worship resource for this Lenten Season, “Depths of Love,” which includes Palm Sunday and Holy Week. Also see the Easter Sunday message, “You Are Looking for Jesus.” The Children’s Messages for the Lenten series reinforce the Holy Week activities.

Due to certain limitations, you might not have plastic eggs to fill and hide. There are a variety of other options. For example, children could hunt for objects around the house instead of hunting eggs. Some activities do not need eggs at all. We recommend that you customize this resource for your situation.

Whether these activities are done throughout Holy Week or on Easter Sunday, dedicate a specific place in your house. This might mean setting up a dedicated area of a room to place each egg or object in a small box. You could set up a worship station or designate an altar area.

Be creative in how you use this resource. Find ways to share your Holy Week and Easter activities. For example, you might place the objects on a windowsill, write scripture verses, or draw the objects in sidewalk chalk on your driveway. Whether you are using hardboiled eggs that have artwork on them or plastic eggs with contents inside, place them in an egg carton throughout the week. Then on Saturday, reflect on what each “art” egg represents, and the events depicted that occurred during Holy Week. Create a new family tradition that celebrates the Risen Christ. It will remain a significant part of your family’s Holy Week and Easter Sunday faith traditions.

J. E. L. L. O. (Jesus Even Loves Little Ones) rearview mirror hanger is available to download. Download, print, cut, and place the hanger in the most used vehicle in your family. Use the questions each time you are in the vehicle together to continue (and deepen) the faith formation conversation that the Holy Week activities sparked within your family.

Materials needed (all things found around the house):

  • Holy Week Mirror Hanger (Click here to download and place it on the rearview mirror of the car for family discussion questions throughout the week.)
  • Box with a lid (shoebox)
  • Eggs (plastic Easter eggs or hardboiled eggs)
  • Coat/cloak template
  • Paper and crayons/markers/colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Foaming hand soap
  • Hand towel or washcloth
  • Basin or bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Flashlight
  • Tealight or Christmas tree bulb
  • Play-Doh or modeling clay (if available)
  • Nail (careful!)
  • Nail template
  • Popsicle sticks/toothpicks/twigs from the yard/pipe cleaners
  • Dark cloth
  • Wristwatch/stopwatch
  • Drum (or something to bang, such as pots and pans)

Daily Egg Art instructions:

This Holy Week resource offers a daily egg art activity. Include the eggs you create during this week in your traditional Easter egg hunt on Sunday morning. After the eggs have been collected, have the children talk about the true meaning of Easter. As the eggs are opened, have the children share the story using the art as a guide. There are two different options regarding egg art. One is to fill a plastic egg; the other is to use hardboiled eggs and crayons.

*You may incorporate these eggs into your churchwide egg hunt as well. If you do, spend time allowing multiple children to discuss and describe the significance of each egg and their understanding of how the egg is applied to the Easter message.

Palm Sunday (March 24, 2024)

Read Scripture:

Mark 11:1-11, NIRV

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

11As they all approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two of his disciples. 2 He said to them, “Go to the village ahead of you. Just as you enter it, you will find a donkey’s colt tied there. No one has ever ridden it. Untie it and bring it here. 3 Someone may ask you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ If so, say, ‘The Lord needs it. But he will send it back here soon.’ ”

4So they left. They found a colt out in the street. It was tied at a doorway. They untied it. 5 Some people standing there asked, “What are you doing? Why are you untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to. So the people let them go. 7 They brought the colt to Jesus. They threw their coats over it. Then he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their coats on the road. Others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those in front and those in back shouted,


“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:25, 26)

10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courtyard. He looked around at everything. But it was already late. So he went out to Bethany with the 12 disciples.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


  • Coat/cloak paper template


Cut out a coat from the template. Place the cutout on the ground and take turns shouting, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” Cut out a coat for each person in the home if you want. Or lay some blankets or clothes on the ground and shout, “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Find Psalm 118:26 in your Bible and read it together.

Children are to go outside their front door (with adult supervision) or the church entrance door and place coats on the ground and shout the same saying to the people, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” Ask them, “How loud can you shout?”

Egg Art:

Draw a coat/cloak on a small piece of paper and place the drawing in a plastic egg or draw an outline of a coat on a hardboiled egg.


It’s Palm Sunday. The people shouted and cheered as Jesus entered Jerusalem.


Have children talk about a time when they attended a parade. Ask, “Do you remember how people crowded together to see the parade?” Children are on the shoulders of adults just to see. Sometimes when a crowd gathers for a parade, it becomes difficult to see. Ask, “How do you think the children trying to see Jesus felt during this parade?” The crowd welcomed Jesus into the town. Ask, “What are ways that our family make people feel welcome when they come to visit? I wonder how you can welcome Jesus into your life this week. How can your family welcome Jesus into your home?”


Hosanna! God, we give you thanks for the blessing that you sent us in Jesus. Give us opportunities to be a blessing to others by welcoming Jesus into our house. Amen.

Monday (March 25, 2024)

Read Scripture:

John 12:1-11, NIRV

Mary Pours Perfume on Jesus at Bethany

12 It was six days before the Passover Feast. Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. Lazarus was the one Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was given at Bethany to honor Jesus. Martha served the food. Lazarus was among the people at the table with Jesus. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard. It was an expensive perfume. She poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the sweet smell of the perfume.

4 But Judas Iscariot didn’t like what Mary did. He was one of Jesus’ disciples. Later he was going to hand Jesus over to his enemies. Judas said, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold? Why wasn’t the money given to poor people? It was worth a year’s pay.” 6 He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor. He said it because he was a thief. Judas was in charge of the money bag. He used to help himself to what was in it.

7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “The perfume was meant for the day I am buried. 8 You will always have the poor among you. But you won’t always have me.”

9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there, so they came. But they did not come only because of Jesus. They also came to see Lazarus. After all, Jesus had raised him from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus too. 11 Because of Lazarus, many of the Jews were starting to follow Jesus. They were believing in him.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


  • Washcloth and sweet-smelling foaming soap.


Wash another person’s hands or feet within your home. Use some fragranced soap, a washcloth, and a hand towel. Sing “Jesus Loves Me” while you wash.

“Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to him belong
They are weak, but he is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so.”

Use sweet-smelling soap (to remember Mary’s perfume) and warm water to cleanse hands or feet. Then dry them with a towel.

Egg Art:

Cut a piece of paper towel into a small square to represent the towel that Jesus used to wash the disciples’ feet and place it in a plastic egg or draw a towel on the side of a hardboiled egg.


Jesus’ attitude of servanthood was the direct opposite of Judas’ understanding. Jesus demonstrated humility as he reminded his followers that Mary put others (Jesus) before herself.


I wonder how it feels to put someone else before yourself. I wonder how God made it so that no matter how dirty something is, once we notice it, we can clean it up. I wonder what “clean” smells like to you. How might serving (putting others’ needs before our own) help us feel humble?


God of joy, we are thankful that Jesus reminds us that being humble and putting others before ourselves is a joyous way to live and to remember him. Amen.

Tuesday (March 26, 2024)

Read Scripture:

John 12:35-36, NIRV

Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light. Do this before darkness catches up with you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. While you have the light, believe in it. Then you can become children of light.” When Jesus had finished speaking, he left and hid from them.

New International Reader's Version(NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


  • Flashlight


Find a space of about fifteen feet of distance between two points in your house or church. Walk from point “A” to point “B.” It seems easy to do so with the lights on. Return to point “A” and have someone turn off the lights. Does it become very dark? DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WALK THE DISTANCE WITH THE LIGHTS OFF. Does the darkness create fear? Are you afraid to try to walk in the dark? Use a flashlight to take steps toward point “B.” How helpful is the use of the light? Did the light remove fear?


Scatter some Easter eggs in a yard (one that is safe to navigate in the dark). Wait for darkness to fall and try to find the eggs without light. Take a few minutes to reflect. Did the darkness make it more difficult? Are you scared because of the darkness? Are you afraid to take steps in the darkness?

Then try to retrieve eggs with the use of a flashlight. Was the light helpful in finding the eggs? Compare the experiences of hunting eggs in darkness to having the help of a flashlight.

Egg Art:

Find a small Christmas tree light or tealight that might fit into a plastic egg to remember that Jesus is the light or draw a candle on the side of a hardboiled egg.


Jesus reminds us that we are scared and may be filled with fear when it’s dark. We must trust in him to remove the fear. He is the light that we need to help overcome those fears found in scary situations of life.


I wonder how it feels to be scared. How could relying on the comfort of Jesus help us feel safe?


God of comfort, we are thankful that Jesus is the light of the world that shows us the way, even in frightening and scary times. Amen.

Wednesday (March 27, 2024)

Read Scripture:

John 13:21-32, NIRV

21 After he had said this, Jesus’ spirit was troubled. He said, “What I’m about to tell you is true. One of you is going to hand me over to my enemies.”

22 His disciples stared at one another. They had no idea which one of them he meant. 23 The disciple Jesus loved was next to him at the table. 24 Simon Peter motioned to that disciple. He said, “Ask Jesus which one he means.”

25 The disciple was leaning back against Jesus. He asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus answered, “It is the one I will give this piece of bread to. I will give it to him after I have dipped it in the dish.” He dipped the piece of bread. Then he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

So Jesus told him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Judas was in charge of the money. So some of the disciples thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the feast. Others thought Jesus was talking about giving something to poor people. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

Peter Says He Does Not Know Jesus

31 After Judas was gone, Jesus spoke. He said, “Now the Son of Man receives glory. And he brings glory to God. 32 If the Son brings glory to God, God himself will bring glory to the Son. God will do it at once.

(To reinforce the imagery of bread and cup use Matthew’s Lord’s Supper text).

Matthew 26:26-30, NIRV

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread. He gave thanks and broke it. He handed it to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it. This is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup. He gave thanks and handed it to them. He said, “All of you drink from it. 28 This is my blood of the covenant. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many people. 9 Here is what I tell you. From now on, I won’t drink wine with you again until the day I drink it with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

New International Reader's Version(NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


  • Bread and cup


Use the lid of a box to create a table for the Last Supper. On the lid of the box, draw an image of bread and a cup. If you have Play-Doh or modeling clay, you may create bread and cup and place them on the lid (table).

Egg Art:

Put either your clay molded bread and cup in the plastic egg or draw bread and cup on a piece of paper and place it into a plastic egg. Or draw an image of bread and cup on the side of a hardboiled egg.


The Lord’s Supper is more than just the last meal that Jesus had with his disciples. He had all his friends, the disciples, around him at this Passover meal (or as we call it, the Last Supper). Jesus told his disciples to do this act of drinking from the cup (juice) and eating the bread in remembrance of him.


This scene is about trust between good friends and family members (remember, disciples Andrew and Peter were brothers). Sometimes disagreements or lack of trust happen among friends. How did those at the meal respond when Jesus said that one of them would betray him? This is a story about a relationship with Jesus. How have you celebrated this event at your church in the past?


God, we are thankful that we can always trust you. We are faithful to you and trust in you. Thank you for the bread and the juice as a reminder of how Jesus offers his love and forgiveness, even if we disagree with one another. Amen.

Maundy Thursday (March 28, 2024)

Read Scripture:

John 13:1-17, 31-35, NIRV

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

13 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world. It was time for him to go to the Father. Jesus loved his disciples who were in the world. So he now loved them to the very end.

2 They were having their evening meal. The devil had already tempted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. He had urged Judas to hand Jesus over to his enemies. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put everything under his power. He also knew he had come from God and was returning to God. 4 So he got up from the meal and took off his outer clothes. He wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a large bowl. Then he began to wash his disciples’ feet. He dried them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter. “Lord,” Peter said to him, “are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You don’t realize now what I am doing. But later you will understand.”

8 “No,” said Peter. “You will never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you can’t share life with me.”

9 “Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet! Wash my hands and my head too!”

10 Jesus answered, “People who have had a bath need to wash only their feet. The rest of their body is clean. And you are clean. But not all of you are.” 11 Jesus knew who was going to hand him over to his enemies. That was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When Jesus finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes. Then he returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You are right. That is what I am. 14 I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have given you an example. You should do as I have done for you. 16 What I’m about to tell you is true. A slave is not more important than his master. And a messenger is not more important than the one who sends him. 17 Now you know these things. So you will be blessed if you do them.

Peter Will Say He Does Not Know Jesus

31 After Judas was gone, Jesus spoke. He said, “Now the Son of Man receives glory. And he brings glory to God. 32 If the Son brings glory to God, God himself will bring glory to the Son. God will do it at once.

33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me. Just as I told the Jews, so I am telling you now. You can’t come where I am going.

34 “I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you. 35 If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.”

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


  • Heart to suggest “love.”


Within your existing daily prayer life, position your hands into a “heart shape.”

Then spend time daily praying for the people that you witnessed offering love to one another that day. This will offer an opportunity to “pay attention” and look for the act of love in your daily life. Remember, love is an action. The positioning of your hands into the shape of a heart also suggests that you are the “hands and feet” of Jesus!

Egg Art:

Trace someone’s heart-shaped praying hands onto a piece of paper. Fold that paper and place it inside a plastic egg or draw a heart on the side of a hardboiled egg.


John 13:34-35 teaches us the simple, yet great command, which is to love others as Jesus loved us so they can know Jesus.


When people are anxious, they are scared and nervous about what might happen. We all feel anxious and scared at times. It’s good to know that when Peter felt the same, Jesus demonstrated how much that he loved his followers. Jesus said, “I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you. If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.” Not just with his words, but through his actions, “Now you know these things. So, you will be blessed if you do them.” Throughout his ministry, Jesus showed us many ways we can love others. Helping others is one such way. Can you make a list of the many ways we can help people? I wonder how you can use this list to show the world to love one another in the name of Jesus.


God, often it is so much easier to say, “I love you” than it is to demonstrate love to others. Thank you for Jesus teaching us that love is an action word. Once we know this, then we can show the world. Allow us to pray for others, as we show them your love. Amen.

Good Friday (March 29, 2024)

Read Scripture:

John 19:16-30, NIRV

16 Finally, Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be nailed to a cross.

Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 He had to carry his own cross. He went out to a place called the Skull. In the Aramaic language it was called Golgotha. 18 There they nailed Jesus to the cross. Two other men were crucified with him. One was on each side of him. Jesus was in the middle.

19Pilate had a notice prepared. It was fastened to the cross. It read,

Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.

20 Many of the Jews read the sign. That’s because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city. And the sign was written in the Aramaic, Latin and Greek languages. 21 The chief priests of the Jews argued with Pilate. They said, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews.’ Write that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

22 Pilate answered, “I have written what I have written.”

23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes. They divided them into four parts. Each soldier got one part. All that was left was Jesus’ long, inner robe. It did not have any seams. It was made out of one piece of cloth from top to bottom.

24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s cast lots to see who will get it.”

This happened so that Scripture would come true. It says,

“They divided up my clothes among them.
They cast lots for what I was wearing.” (Psalm 22:18)

So that is what the soldiers did.

25 Jesus’ mother stood near his cross. So did his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26Jesus saw his mother there. He also saw the disciple he loved standing nearby. Jesus said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.

Jesus Dies

28 Later, Jesus knew that everything had now been finished. He also knew that what Scripture said must come true. So he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there. So they soaked a sponge in it. They put the sponge on the stem of a hyssop plant. Then they lifted it up to Jesus’ lips.30 After Jesus drank he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and died.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


  • Nail and cross


Have an adult find a nail in your house. Perhaps there is one holding up a picture of your family on the wall. Take thirty seconds and look at the nail as a reminder of the pain that Jesus went through to bring us healing and display God’s love that overcomes the worst evil.

Make a cross out of pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, or toothpicks and place it near your dedicated area that your family has been praying throughout this week.

Egg Art:

Draw a nail or cut one from this template and place it in a plastic egg, or draw a nail and a cross on the side of a hardboiled egg.


This can be a sensitive and scary concept for younger children. Even so, it’s important to know what Jesus went through to offer forgiveness for everyone and to display God’s love in the face of evil.


The American Sign Language “sign” for the name “Jesus” is pointing to the palm of each hand as a reminder of the nails that were placed into each of his hands. I wonder why the nail is the sign used to name Jesus. This “sign” for Jesus reminds us of the nails that were used to put him on the cross. Where have you seen crosses in your life? How important is the cross when describing Jesus and what he came to do?

What question would you like to ask Jesus about when he died?


God, every time I see a nail, remind me of the pain and sorrow that Jesus had to go through to save us and offer hope for eternal life in heaven. Amen.

Holy Saturday (March 30, 2024)

Read Scripture:

Matthew 27:57-66, NIRV

Jesus Is Buried

57As evening approached, a rich man came from the town of Arimathea. His name was Joseph. He had become a follower of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60 He placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb. Then he went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there across from the tomb.

The Guards at the Tomb

62 The next day was the day after Preparation Day. The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember something that liar said while he was still alive. He claimed, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order to make the tomb secure until the third day. If you don’t, his disciples might come and steal the body. Then they will tell the people that Jesus has been raised from the dead. This last lie will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take some guards with you,” Pilate answered. “Go. Make the tomb as secure as you can.” 66So they went and made the tomb secure. They put a royal seal on the stone and placed some guards on duty.

New International Reader's Version(NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Dark cloth to suggest the stillness of this day.


Play a game of “Red-Light- Green Light.” This game is a favorite for children, and it is easy to play with no props needed. This game also is a terrific way to build executive function (decision and motor control skills) through play. Executive function develops better emotion regulation and impulse control by helping children pause, (wait), think, and then decide before reacting. Here are the rules:

  1. The children line up, side-by side at one end of yard (if outside) or large room (if inside) facing the “caller.” For safety reasons, if playing inside, have children walk, crawl, or crab crawl to slow down the movements.
  2. The caller stands opposite the children, facing them.
  3. The caller shouts, “Green Light,” and turns away from the children. When the light is green, the children move toward the caller by running, walking, or crawling—depending on the space and location of your game.
  4. The caller shouts, “Red Light,” and turns facing the children again. The children must stop or “freeze” immediately.
  5. The caller continues to shout “Red Light” or “Green Light” until a child reaches the caller. That child could then become the next caller.
  6. Certain variations of the game suggest that when the caller turns around when calling “Red Light,” if a child is pointed out as moving, he or she returns to the starting line. This version can become argumentative and may distract from the object of game, which is body control and cognitive response.
  7. Once a child reaches the caller, select another caller, and go back to the starting line and begin the game again.

In the evening of this day, as you gather for family worship time, place a dark cloth over the entire worship space and cover it in darkness. Or cover your egg art eggs with a dark cloth. As a family, sit quietly and discuss the waiting that took place on this day in the Easter story. While you wait, sit in silence, even if it is only a few seconds and concentrate on the black cloth.

Egg Art:

Draw a watch or old-fashioned clockface and place in your plastic egg; or you may place a watch in the egg. OR draw a clockface on the side of a hard-boiled egg. Reflect on all the eggs placed in the carton that you have collected all week. Spend a moment in silence as you reflect upon each day’s events of this Holy Week.


On Saturday, everything was so still that people could hear every little sound. There was nothing that could be done. Holy Saturday is a day of waiting.


How does it feel when you have a pet/favorite stuffed animal/friend/family nearby? Does it feel different when they are gone? When you’re hoping for something, how does it feel?


God, it is hard for us to sit still and wait. On this day, we are reminded of the waiting and the hope that we have in Jesus. In our sadness and waiting, we trust in Jesus for a new day of joy and think about how his love can bring us out of these feelings of fear and sadness. We put our hope in your son, Jesus. Amen.

Easter Sunday (March 31, 2024)

Read Scripture:

Mark 16:1-8, NIRV

Jesus Rises from the Dead

16The Sabbath day ended. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices. They were going to use them for Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they were on their way to the tomb. It was just after sunrise. 3 They asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?”

4 Then they looked up and saw that the stone had been rolled away. The stone was very large. 5 They entered the tomb. As they did, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe. He was sitting on the right side. They were alarmed.

6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. But he has risen! He is not here! See the place where they had put him. 7 Go! Tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. It will be just as he told you.’ ”

8 The women were shaking and confused. They went out and ran away from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Empty plastic egg.


Playing Easter Joy!

Supplies: Drum, pot, and pan.

Provide something for each child that makes noise. Rhythm instruments are great… but so are homemade things like two spoons to hit together and baby rattles to shake.

Say: “I am going to beat my drum, and as I do, I want you to guess what I am feeling.”

(Play it happily and quickly and smile.)

Ask: “What feeling did you hear?” (They will say, “Happy.”)

(Play the drum slowly and frown.)

Ask: “What feeling did you hear?” (They will say, “Sad.”)

Say: “You are good at this. I am going to tell you the story of Easter now, and I want you to hear it in the music I make.”

(Begin to hit the drum happily and continue it while you speak.)

Say: “Jesus was the light of the world, God’s love walking with people, teaching them, healing them… it was wonderful time!” (Keep playing happily.)

Say: “But then,” (start playing slowly and sadly), “some people did not love Jesus, and they were afraid of his great love, so they decided to crucify him. They arrested him (one beat), and they hurt him (one beat), and they made him wear a crown of thorns (one beat) and carry his cross (one beat); they hung him on the cross (crucified).”


Say: “Jesus died, and it was the saddest day ever. The people were so sad.” (Silence.)

Say: “On the third day, after Jesus had been taken from the cross and laid in the tomb, they went there to take care of his body (start beating slowly and get faster and faster as you talk). When they got there, they found out the best news ever! (Beat faster.) Jesus was alive again… he was raised, and his love was still with them!!! And that was the happiest day ever!!!” (Beat harder and faster!)


Say: “You know, that is our happy Easter story… but it just had one problem… I had only one drum and there is no way I could play the happiness of that first Easter by myself on that one drum. It was happy.” (Start playing the drum and have others begin to make noise with their “instruments.” The noise will get louder and louder, and the children will laugh. You may have to shout):

Say: “That is how happiness sounds… Easter is the happiest day ever!!! HAPPY EASTER!”

Adapted with permission from Leanne-Hadley.com.

Egg Art:

Leave one empty egg for this day to represent the tomb. An empty egg on Easter morning is better than one filled with candy, better than toys! The empty egg holds the most wonderful gift ever… the empty tomb!


After Jesus died, everyone thought that God would not be with us anymore… that God’s love died with Jesus on the cross, but then God did something surprising. God raised Jesus from the dead and proved that nothing, not even death on the cross, could stop God from loving us!


What does it mean to you that God will not let death come between us? The disciples and the others shared the good news of Easter that Jesus was alive. How can you share with others that good news? Take your instruments, which were used in Playing Easter Joy! earlier, outside (with supervision) and get even louder. Let the world around you hear the happy joyful sounds of Easter!


God of Easter, we give you thanks for the gift of new life and of the good news of the Resurrection. Help us to experience the newness and joy that come from the Risen Jesus. Amen.

Rev. Kevin Johnson is the Director, Children’s Ministries for Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship at Discipleship Ministries. Kevin’s hero Fred Rogers suggests that we, “listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first.” This quote defines Rev. Kev’s approach to ministry. Kevin, an ordained elder of the Kentucky Annual Conference, has over fifteen years of ministry experience in which he has thought of the children first. Prior to ministry, Kevin worked with children in the hospital setting and in group homes for emotionally and physically abused children.

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