28

March 2021

Mar

The One Who Comes

Rend Your Hearts: Claiming the Promise

Palm/Passion Sunday, Year B

Palm Sunday is not just Palm Sunday; it is more properly Palm/Passion Sunday. That slash is important. It is a reminder that there is risk involved in taking the side of the marginalized. There is danger in trying to upset the status quo. And just when you think you’ve won your point and gathered your crowd, you discover you are alone again.

References


Colors


  • Red
  • Purple

Note to the Teacher

The key idea to focus on in this lesson is the paradoxical nature of following Jesus. He says things like the “greatest should become the least” and “to die is to live.” Jesus comes into Jerusalem in triumph and joy, only to be mocked, tortured, and killed a few days later. The ice breaker gets students interacting with one another, setting a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. The discussion invites students to consider what it might have been like for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem so triumphantly and to consider why the world might think following Jesus is foolish. The activity allows youth to experience the joy of being welcomed with cheers and excitement. Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.

1. Ice Breaker (10 minutes)

If meeting in person: SILENCE!

Secretly assign a number to each student, giving it to each person on a small piece of paper that you have prepared ahead of time. Tell the students that they are not allowed to talk, but they must arrange themselves in numerical order. They have ninety seconds to do this activity.

For round two, tell students to arrange themselves in order of their birthdays, again without talking to one another. Allow at least five minutes for this activity. Check at the end to see how close they were by having students share their birthdays.

If meeting online: Alien Invasion

Tell each student to grab paper and drawing utensils. Tell students to pretend that aliens have landed. Students are to draw five pictures that will help show the aliens what life is like on earth. Remember, these are aliens from outer space, and they do not know what common earthly things are or the English language. Allow students time to share their pictures.

2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Mark 11:1-11 is commonly referred to as the Triumphal Entry. It is the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt; the crowds are yelling “Hosanna!” and putting down palm branches, a symbol of joy and triumph. Isaiah 50:4-9 is a prophecy written hundreds of years before Jesus came, telling of the suffering that the Christ will endure.

Read Mark 11:1-11.

3. Discussion (15 minutes)

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is what we celebrate on Palm Sunday. Imagine yourself there. What would it have been like?

  • Why do you think that the people were yelling “Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest?”
  • Do you think Jesus felt joy and excitement in this moment, even though he knew what awaited him at the end of the week?
  • What would you feel like if you walked into school one day and everyone was lining the halls and clapping and cheering for you?

Read Isaiah 50:4-9.

  • What does this scripture passage bring to mind?
  • What do you think about the idea in this prophecy that speaks about willingly being beaten and disgraced? Does it seem foolish to not try to defend yourself?
  • Do you think people might think the way of Jesus is foolish? How might it be perceived as foolish, or at least not normal, compared to the way the rest of the world operates?

Today marks the beginning of Holy Week. We are not yet to Easter, so let’s sit right where we are for now, reflecting on the Triumphal Entry of Jesus.

4. Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

If meeting in person:

Hyped-up introductions. Give each student an index card and a pen or pencil. Have students write their name, school, and their favorite thing to do after school. Have them turn the cards in to you.

Tell the students that you’ll be introducing them as if they are in the NBA Finals. Each student will be introduced individually, and the others in the room will cheer very loudly, losing their minds in excitement for the person being introduced. This works best if you have a microphone and speakers to play music and amplify your voice.

Invite the first student out of the room; turn down the lights; have some sort of spotlight in the middle of the room; then have each student enter. As they enter, in an NBA announcer voice, very excitedly say the school, the favorite post-school activity, and then shout the name at the climax of the introduction, all while the other students are cheering and clapping. Do this for each student.

Questions for discussion:

  • What did it feel like being introduced to the group like that?
  • Did it feel a little foolish to be cheering for people in the group as they entered the room, even though you already knew them?
  • This level of excitement in the room that was created is similar to what was around Jesus when he came into Jerusalem, just without the music and microphone. How do you think Jesus felt at the moment?
  • Do you think it’s a little foolish for us to worship a God who was killed in the most gruesome way, just days after being cheered and celebrated?

If meeting online:

Do the same activity as described in the “if meeting in person” section, but have the students type the information to you in chat. Organize the information and be able to announce it in the same way described above. Have music ready to play and share your computer sound so all the students can hear. As each student is announced, encourage the student to show off his/her best dance moves.

Questions for discussion:

  • What did it feel like being introduced to the group like that?
  • Did it feel a little foolish to be cheering for people in the group as they entered the room, even though you already knew them?
  • This level of excitement in the room that was created is similar to what was around Jesus when he came into Jerusalem, just without the music and microphone. How do you think Jesus felt at the moment?

Total time: 50 minutes

NEEDED RESOURCES:

If meeting in person:

  • Bible
  • Small pieces of paper with numbers written on them, enough for each student to receive one number
  • Index cards
  • A writing utensil for each student
  • Speaker to play music
  • Microphone to amplify your voice
  • A lamp or some kind of spotlight for the center of the room

If meeting online:

  • Bible
  • Device to connect to Zoom or other platform
  • Music ready to play
  • Each student needs paper and drawing utensils

In This Series...


Ash Wednesday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Palm/Passion Sunday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Maundy Thursday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Good Friday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes

References


Colors


  • Red
  • Purple

In This Series...


Ash Wednesday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Palm/Passion Sunday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Maundy Thursday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Good Friday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes