Monday 29 March 2010

Explaining Easter #3

Jesus and Little Children [FLOSS]

Another story for the children, about Palm Sunday ...

When the King or Queen visits a city [or the President if that's what you have in your country] how do they travel?

Queen Elizabeth still goes to some events in her carriage

royal coach

But she usually goes in a posh Bentley car with a little crown on top!

queen bentley

[Someone told me I need to get her permission to use her picture, but it is Sunday and I expect she is busy at church so I am afraid I have not been able to ask her. Hope she doesn't mind!]

She always smiles and seems happy to see people though

queen at Maundy service

President Obama flies around America in Air Force One, his special plane [can you see his badge on the side? He doesn't have a crown]

obama AF 1

In years gone by, kings arrived on special warhorses

king horseback

Or they rode in chariots

roman chariot

These expensive ways of travel showed the people watching that this was an IMPORTANT, POWERFUL visitor.

As well as that, Royal people are not supposed to put their feet on the dirty muddy earth - often special carpets are laid down for them

red carpet

And this is how it always was when a King visited your town - except when Jesus came to Jerusalem. He was the greatest King of all - and he arrived riding on a little donkey

jesus donkey

The ordinary people were so pleased to see him, they waved and cheered and shouted "Hosanna" [that means 'Praise The Lord'] Some people put their coats on the ground for the donkey to walk on - other people looked around to see what they could use.

They spotted some palm trees

palm tree

Quickly they climbed up and pulled out lots of leaves like this...

palm leaf

They took some of the leaves and spread them on the ground to make a soft green carpet under the donkey's feet - and some they waved as they cheered, like huge green flags.

People clapped and sang and danced, and it was the best carnival ever.

palm cross

And so every year, on the last Sunday before Easter, we celebrate Palm Sunday. In some churches, people are given little crosses woven from palm leaves

But the important thing to remember is, we can praise and worship Jesus the King whoever we are, whatever we have. We don't need to be rich enough to have big car to come to church in, or a red carpet to walk on - and it doesn't matter if we make a lot of noise, or sing quietly. In Jerusalem 2000 years ago, the ordinary people praised Jesus with the things they had around them [palm leaves] and what really mattered was that their hearts were right, and they loved him, and meant the things they said.

In our church yesterday we sung a song [to an old sea shanty tune called "Drunken sailor"] about Palm Sunday - and it reminds us that we mustn't just sing praises to Jesus, we must serve him too - and do the things that show his love to other people and care for them like he did.

We have a king who rides a donkey, [x3]

And his name is Jesus.

Jesus, the king, is risen, [x3]

Early in the morning.

Trees are waving a royal welcome, [x3]

For the king called Jesus.

We have a king who cares for people,[x3]

And his name is Jesus.

What shall we do with our life this morning ? [x3]

Give it up in service!

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