3 – 6 Lesson

Easter – It’s a Season not a Day

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Lent is past and Easter has arrived.  We now have seven Sundays until Pentecost. The second feast celebrated in the early church.

Isn’t it interesting that the Ascension does not merit its own seasonal break – we don’t change liturgical colors or service themes.

408591_8207546_lzDuring Eastertide we celebrate the ways in which the Kingdom of God is breaking into our world.  We look for ways that God is overwhelming the rules of the prince of this world – selfishness, fear, greed, racism, injustice, hopelessness, poverty-  and putting in place the blessings of His kingdom – love, justice, mercy, reconciliation, generosity.  Where Lent is inwardly focused on rooting out and replacing the qualities of sinfulness in ourselves, Eastertide is outward focused on celebrating the changes that the Kingdom brings to our communities.

There is an inkling of sadness and overwhelmingness that is found during the celebration.  When one begins to look, one doesn’t see a new heaven and a new earth transformed into the Kingdom of God in the midst of this present world. We only see hints and glimmers and a call to continue transforming others as we ourselves are transformed.

That leads us to Pentecost and the need for the Holy Spirit’s aid and guidance as we walk the Kingdom of God out to our communities.

 

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3-6, 6-9 year olds – Map of Israel during Jesus’ time.

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Today we add a very important piece to the mind of the child.  We add place.  We remind the child that Jesus isn’t a

Three dimensional map of Israel - the next step after the regions are learned.
Three dimensional map of Israel – the next step after the regions are learned.

fairy tale because he lived in real places in the world.  He did real things in real places in our world.  Today we introduce the child to The Map of Israel at the time of Jesus.

FYI: the little green dots are other important areas in Jesus life and teaching.

Need:

  1. Print out the master map (the color one)8.5 x 11 Map of Israel in Jesus’ Time Colored
  2. Print out the child’s map (the outline form) (enough for the whole family)Map of Israel in Jesus’ Time 8.5 x 11
  3. Print out the map of the world. map of worldcharleston
  4. Glue or tape
  5. Pencil
  6. Colored pencils or crayons
  7. Scissors

Lesson

Invite the child to the table.

Today we have an important thing to discuss.  It isn’t a story of the Faces of Easter but it holds the stories of the Faces of Easter – and many, many more.

When God chooses to be far out in space and looks down on the Earth he can see the whole world at one time.  If God decided to draw what he sees from waaaaay up high that would be a map.  Would you like to see the how the Earth looks from wwwwaaaaaaayyyyy up high?

Bring out the map of the world.

This is called a map.  It shows us an outline of the world.  Do you want to know where we live?

Point to the North American star.  (Be prepared for questions about where relatives live.)

Do you want to know where Jesus lived?

Point to the Middle Eastern star.

He lived in a tiny place. It is so small that it is hidden under our star.

If we are going to talk about where Jesus lived we might need a magnifying glass.  But even with that it would be hard to see.  Hmm.  I know we need a better map.  A map of just Israel.  A map of what is covered up by that tiny star.  A map like this.

Bring out the master map of Israel during the time of Jesus.  Maps are a tricky thing to explain.  Don’t get caught up in it.

Point to the blue on the map.  (Yes, there are sharks occasionally in the Mediterranean Sea.)

There are several blue places on our map. This big, big blue place is called the Mediterranean Sea.  It is huge.  This other large blue place is called the Dead Sea.  I wonder why it is called the Dead Sea?

Wait for some thinking.

I read that it is called the Dead Sea because no animals can live in it and no plants can live near it.  It has so much salt in it that it kills anything near it.  Everything near it is a wilderness.  Do you remember what Jesus did in the wilderness?

Wait for it.  (The child may want to go get the pictures of the Faces of Easter – this is great.)

Trace your finger up the Jordan River to the Sea of Galilee.

This lake is called the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus spent lots of time here.  The river that connects the to seas is called the Jordan River.

Do you remember what is special about the Jordan River?

Wait for it.

The light tan area is called Decapolis and it was not part of Israel during Jesus’ time.  Jesus still visited there quite a bit.

The yellow, red, green and orange areas were part of Israel during Jesus’ time.  These four areas were controlled by a guy named Pontius Pilate.  The people who lived in each area were very different from one another.

The red one is called Galilee after the Sea of Galilee.  This is the area where Mary lived when the Angel Gabriel told her she would be having baby Jesus.  It is also the area where Jesus did most of his growing up.  The city that Mary lived in was called Nazareth.

Can you touch the green dot next to the word that begins with a “N.”

The blue one is called Samaria. Jesus spent time here, too.

The yellow one is called Petra.  This is where Jesus’ closest friends lived.  This is where Jesus healed the blind man.  He lived in a city called Bethany.

Can you touch the green dot next to the word that begins with a “B” that is inside the yellow area.

The orange section is called Judea.  This is where lots of Jesus’ life is told.  He was born in Bethlehem.  He went to the temple when he was 12.  He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. On  Thursday we are going to see a great gift that he gives to us.  He gave it to us in Jerusalem.

Can you touch the green dot next to Jerusalem?  Jerusalem?

See how the Jordan River comes between Bethany and Jerusalem?  See that green dot?  That is where Jesus was baptized. And this green dot next to the Dead Sea is the area where Jesus spent time in the wilderness.

You may need to stop here.  The rest of the lesson can be at a separate time.

The black and white coloring map is designed for various ages.  3 year olds may do well with just shading in the areas and maybe  gluing down the  Annunciation, Birth, and Crucifixion tickets.

An older child who is learning to write may choose to write the names of the regions of Israel or the Seas, or the Cities – or all of them.

Other children may want to cut the tickets off of the edge and match the tickets to the areas where the event happened.

Invite the child to do the work themselves while you do one yourself.  

Cleaning up is just as important as doing the work.  Do not clean up all by yourself.

3-6 year-olds Palm Sunday

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Today we pause from the Faces of Easter work.  We will pick it up again on Thursday with the Face of Jesus teaching us about the Eucharist.

Today we are telling about the entry into Jerusalem.  Focus on the excitement of the people as Jesus came into Jerusalem.

Items needed:

1.  All the LEGO, Playmobile or paper cut out people you have.  (7 or more)

2.  Find a “donkey” or make a donkey out of 2 clothes pins and a cutout body.

3.  Enough LEGO bricks or blocks to make a city gate

4.  Paper cut outs (or real) palms

5.  Paper cut outs of shirts

http://watkinseveryflavorbean.blogspot.com/2011/04/palm-sunday.html
http://watkinseveryflavorbean.blogspot.com/2011/04/palm-sunday.html

Lay a rug down. 

Today is a special day.  In one week we will celebrate the Mystery of Easter. Today we remember a  celebration that happened one week before the first Easter Day.

Jesus had been traveling for some time.  He and his disciples had been walking.  While they were walking, Jesus healed people.  People kept following him to see what he would do next.  He then came to a friend’s house.

His friend had died and had been buried in a cave with a giant stone rolled over the opening. Jesus asked his friend’s family to open the grave and then Jesus called to his friend,  “Lazarus, come out!”  Lazarus came out.  Jesus had raised him from the dead. The crowd grew and grew.

Jesus continued to walk to Jerusalem.

Build the city gates on one end of the rug.

People ran ahead and told other people about the healings and how Lazarus had been raised from the dead.

Put Jesus on the other end of the rug. 

When Jesus came into Jerusalem, many people came to meet him.

http://allplayonsunday.blogspot.com/2012/03/palm-sunday-jesus-triumphant-entry.html
http://allplayonsunday.blogspot.com/2012/03/palm-sunday-jesus-triumphant-entry.html

Set the donkey beside Jesus.  Put out your crowd on either side of your imaginary road.

His disciples brought him a donkey to ride into the city of Jerusalem.

Begin moving Jesus toward Jerusalem. 

 

They were shouting and cheering and telling Jesus that they wanted him to be their king.

Put down your palm branches and shirts as you move Jesus to Jerusalem.

They shouted out Hosanna which means ‘we want God to save us’ and then they took off their cloaks and cut down palm branches and laid them on the road for Jesus to ride over.

 

Sit back and make a show of thinking.  Finally say:

I wonder why people wanted Jesus to be their king?

I wonder how the other people who wanted to be in charge felt when they saw how much people loved Jesus?

I wonder after all the good things Jesus had done why some people didn’t like him?

 

When the wondering is finish, carefully put the pieces into a basket and put them on the shelf so the work can be redone.

 

Fifth Sunday in Lent –  Faces of Easter 5

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Notes:

1.    This is our fifth step in the journey to the resurrection.

2.    Print the image of Jesus healing and teaching that you choose. And place face down and away from the child.  Gather up all the other illustrations and stack them face down away from you.

3.    You are teaching care for things by how carefully you set up and put away the material.  Don’t rush this.

  4.    This telling is very important.  Much of Jesus’ interactions with people are with those no one else wanted to come close to.  If Jesus came to do this today, I wonder what kind of people he would spend time with.  

John 9:1-38

 

Lay a rug down. Pat the rug. 

Please go bring the Mystery of Easter bag.

Do you think you can put the Mystery of Easter together?

Resist the urge to help.  When the puzzle is complete. Turn it so the cross is facing the child.

Touch the top puzzle piece.

Do you remember what the story for the first piece was?

Wait for him to think about it – if he needs help hold up the picture of the holy family.  After he is done telling you, place the image to the right of the cross – leave space for week 2’s image.

Do you remember what the other three pieces told us?

Place the 2nd image between image 1 and the cross.  Place the 3rd image  to the left of the cross.  Touch the 4th piece of the puzzle. Place this image to the left of the cross, too.  Touch the 5th piece.

 

Healing of the Blind Man by Edy Legrand
Healing of the Blind Man by Edy Legrand

One day Jesus and the disciples were walking and they saw a man who was born blind.

Jesus told the disciples that he was going to heal the man and that God would be glorified in the healing. So Jesus spat on the ground and mixed saliva and dirt to form mud, which He smeared across the blind man’s eyes.

Jesus then told the man to go wash the mud off and he would be able to see. The man was so joyful that his neighbors weren’t sure it was him.  So they ask if he was the man that they saw begging for food and money every day.

The formerly blind man assured them that he was the man.

His neighbors asked:   How have your lifeless eyes been opened?

The formerly blind man told them that man named Jesus approached me and made mud from the ground and applied it to my eyes. He then said to me, “Go, wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.” I went and washed, and suddenly I could see.

Asserto Gioacchino's Healing of the Blind Man
Asserto Gioacchino’s Healing of the Blind Man

He had to repeat the story several times first to his neighbors, then to other people in the town, then to the religious leaders.

The religious leaders were angry because Jesus had helped the man to see on the Sabbath and they thought God didn’t want anyone doing anything on the Sabbath.

All the formerly blind man could say to the religious leaders was. I only know one thing: I was blind, and now I see.  This man must come from God; otherwise, this miracle would not be possible. Only God can do such things.

This made the religious leaders angry so they told him to go away.  The man was very sad.

Jesus heard what had happened and sought out the man – how people didn’t want to believe him and then tried to make him feel worse than when he was blind.

Healing of the blind by Corinne Vonaesch
Healing of the blind by Corinne Vonaesch

Jesus was kind and asked him if he believed in the Son of Man. The man said yes.  Then Jesus told him:  You have seen His face with your new eyes, and you are talking to Him now.

The formerly blind man understood that Jesus was the Savior and said: Lord, I do believe.

Sit back and make a show of thinking.  Finally say:

 

I wonder what what your favorite part of the story is?

I wonder how the blind man first felt when he washed the mud from his eyes?

I wonder why Jesus helped the man who didn’t even know about Jesus?

I wonder why Jesus only talked with the formerly blind man?  Why didn’t Jesus go to the religious leaders and the towns people?

I wonder what this might teach us about helping people?

I wonder what the disciples thought as they saw all of this?

 

When the wondering is finish, carefully put the pieces of the cross inside the bag leaving it with the white on the outside.  Carefully take the bag back to its spot. Place the old images next to the bag. Place the new image on the fridge or prayer table.

Faces of Easter Four – Jesus in the Desert.

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William Blake's Temptation and Freedom
William Blake’s Temptation and Freedom

Fourth Sunday in Lent – Faces of Easter 4

Notes:
1. This is our fourth step in the journey to the resurrection.
2. Print the image of Jesus in the desert that you choose. And place face down and away from the child. Gather up all the other illustrations and stack them face down away from you.
3. You are teaching care for things by how carefully you set up and put away the material.  Don’t rush this.
4. Remember your child is a child and is naturally interested in Jesus’ story.

Matthew 4:1-11

Lay a rug down. Pat the rug.

Please go bring the Mystery of Easter bag.

Do you think you can put the Mystery of Easter together?

Resist the urge to help.  When the puzzle is complete. Turn it so the cross is facing the child.

Touch the top puzzle piece.

Do you remember what the story for the first piece was?

Wait for him to think about it – if he needs help hold up the picture of the holy family. After he is done telling you, place the image to the right of the cross – leave space for week 2’s image.

Do you remember what the other two pieces told us?

Place the 2nd image between image 1 and the cross. Place the 3rd image to the left of the cross.

Touch the 4th piece of the puzzle.

The desert where Jesus lived was not filled with sand.  It is filled with rocks.  It is very windy.  It gets cold at night and hot during the day.  There are dangerous insects, reptiles, and mammals that all live there. It was not a place you wanted to be alone.  But God asked Jesus to go to the desert.  He went there to tempted by the devil. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. After this fast, He was, as you can imagine, hungry.  But He was also curiously stronger, when the tempter came to Jesus.

Then the evil one came and asked Jesus a question, “Of You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Temptation of Christ, Aagerup Kirke, Danmark
Temptation of Christ, Aagerup Kirke, Danmark

Jesus said, “It is written, “Man does not live by bread alone. Rather, he lives on every word that comes from the mouth of the Eternal One.”

Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city, Jerusalem, and he had Jesus stand at the very highest point in the holy temple.

Then the evil one said to Jesus, “If You are the Son of God, jump! And then we will see if You fulfill the Scripture that says: He will command His heavenly messengers concerning You,  and the messengers will buoy You in their hands  So that You will not crash, or fall, or even graze Your foot on a stone.”

Jesus answered him, “That is not the only thing Scripture says. It also says, “Do not put the Eternal One, your God, to the test.”

And still the devil subjected Jesus to a third test. He took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain, and he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in all their splendor and glory, their power and pomp.

Then the evil one told him, “If You bow down and worship me, I will give You all these kingdoms.”

Jesus spoke one more time, “Get away from Me, Satan. I will not serve you. I will instead follow Scripture, which tells us to “worship the Eternal One, your God, and serve only Him.”

Then the devil left Jesus. And heavenly messengers came and ministered to Him.

 

Sit back and make a show of thinking. Finally say:

I wonder why Jesus was doing before the Devil came to the desert to tempt him?

I wonder what it felt like to be so hungry and to be reminded that if he wanted to, Jesus could turn stones into bread?

I wonder what Jesus meant when he said that we need more than just bread to eat?

I wonder what else we need as food?

I wonder how it felt to be tempted to easily become the king of all kingdoms?
When the wondering is finish, carefully put the pieces of the cross inside the bag leaving it with the white on the outside.  Carefully take the bag back to its spot. Place the old images next to the bag. Place the new image on the fridge or prayer table.

Faces of Easter 3 – The Baptism by John

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he qi Baptism 2011Third Sunday in Lent – Faces of Easter 3

Notes:

1. We are half way in the journey to the resurrection.

2.    Print the image of the baptism by John that you choose. And place face down and away from the child.

3. You are teaching care for things by how carefully you set up and put away the material.  Don’t rush this.

  4.    Remember your child is a child and is naturally interested in Jesus’ life.

When the boys were little we showed them this picture.  One of them, who shall remain nameless, informed us that the artist didn't know what he was doing because people didn't have hair down there.
When the boys were little we showed them this picture. One of them, who shall remain nameless, informed us that the artist didn’t know what he was doing because people didn’t have hair down there.

Lesson:

Lay a rug down. Pat the rug. 

Please go bring the Mystery of Easter bag.

Do you think you can put the Mystery of Easter together?

Resist the urge to help.  When the puzzle is complete. Turn it so the cross is facing the child.

Touch the top puzzle piece.

The first Sunday in Easter we talked about what?

Touch your second week’s puzzle piece.

The second Sunday in Easter we talked about what?

Today we are in the third Sunday in Easter and this is a beginning story again. But it is not about Jesus being a baby.

It is worth looking up the symbolism in Orthodox Icons.
It is worth looking up the symbolism in Orthodox Icons.

Hold up the picture of the Baptism and touch a third puzzle piece.

This is the story of the Baptism of Jesus, and it reminds us how much God the Father loves his Son.

One day, Jesus went down to the Jordan river.  In some places the Jordan was as big as some of our rivers.  In other places it was shallow and rocky. His cousin, John, was baptizing people in the river.

Jesus wanted to talk to his cousin John, he asked him to baptize him in the river.

So together John the Baptist and Jesus went down into the river and Jesus was baptized in the water of the Jordan River.

Japanese Icon - Baptism of JesusWhen Jesus came up out of the water he saw the Holy Spirit who had come to him like a dove from the sky and a voice came from heaven and said, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved: with you I am well pleased.’

 

 

I wonder why Jesus wanted to be Baptized by John?

I wonder what John thought when Jesus asked to be Baptized?

I wonder what Jesus and John thought when they heard the voice?

Jyoit 2011 BaptismI wonder if Jesus felt really special when he heard the words of the voice from heaven?

I wonder if you know where you were Baptized?

I wonder where you would be in this story?

Faces of Easter 2 – The Young Christ in the Temple

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The Boy Jesus in the Temple Mark VandeBrakeSecond Sunday in Lent

Faces of Easter 2 – The Young Christ in the Temple

Notes:

1. This is our second step in the journey to the resurrection.

2.    Print the image of the Youth, Christ in the Temple that you choose. And place face down and away from the child.

3. You are teaching care for things by how carefully you set up and put away the material.  Don’t rush this.

  4.    Remember your child is a child and is naturally interested in Jesus’ story of his childhood.

“Jesus in the Temple” by James B. Janknegt, 2009Lesson:

Lay a rug down. Pat the rug. 

Please go bring the Mystery of Easter bag.

Do you think you can put the Mystery of Easter together?

Resist the urge to help.  When the puzzle is complete. Turn it so the cross is facing the child.

Touch the top puzzle piece. 

Last Sunday was the first Sunday in Easter.  It is the beginning of our walk through Lent to Easter.

Today we are onto the second piece of the Mystery of Easter.

Touch another puzzle piece.

????????????????????????????????Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.

They went with other people from the town of Nazareth. It was a joyful, playful trip up to Jerusalem.

After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. There were lots of people traveling down the road from Jerusalem going to towns all over Israel. His parents didn’t realize that he was missing and traveled the whole day.

Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.

Bondone-Jesus-among-DrsWhen they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.

Hold up the picture of the Jesus at the Temple.

Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you. Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Wassilij_Dimitriewitsch_Polenow_Vasiliy_Polenov_Among_the_Teachers_700Questions:

Which part of this story did you like the best?

How do you think Mary and Joseph felt when they lost their son?

Have did your parents feel when you’ve been lost?

What do you think made Jesus stay in the temple?